Naughty Bear

First mission flying solo. The subject? Teddy bears. Something I can handle, after all my stuffed animal collection takes up more space on my bed that I actually do, so maybe this won’t be so bad. Hold on, it’s a game about murdering teddy bears? Maybe I’m not very qualified for this after all…

You can run, but you can't hide!
You can run, but you can't hide!

In a central London hotel, people were gathering to find out about a certain naughty teddy bear. The general feeling was that not a lot was known about this bear except for the fact that he was, well, naughty. Also, that he had access to weapons such as a shotgun and a machete. Oh, and that he was out for some kind of bloodthirsty revenge against his fellow stuffed animals. Maybe that’s all anyone needed to know. That, and also that lunch was provided, but the only way to pick up the french fries was in true Naughty Bear style: fistfuls at a time. The provided spoon and fork were useless even for scooping up delicately made canapes.

Naughty Front

After munching for a while mainly on french fries and sipping delicately at drinks provided by a cheerful and obliging waitress, everyone was invited into a private theatre to be introduced to the character and his game. The private theatre had single and double seats lined with fake fur printed with cow patches… A little disturbing really to be sitting on something furry while about to watch a video and some gameplay of Naughty Bear. I was fortunate to be sitting on a single seat though, it probably would have been worse to be sharing a seat with a perfect stranger, as demonstrated by the awkward looks and shifting between the two journalists in the love seat next to me.

Naughty Bear is developed by Artificial Mind & Movement and published by 505 Games. Naughty bear resides on ‘Perfection Island’, unfortunately his ragged appearance and rough-about-the-edges manner makes him less than perfect, unlike his colourful and cute neighbours. All Naughty Bear wants to do is to hang out and enjoy the sunshine in peace. Unfortunately, he is ostracized from general bear society. Actually, not really ostracized, that would suggest he is completely ignored. No, the cuddly ones next door in fact actively dislike him, and try to kill him. So much for being sweet and fluffy… Really, Naughty Bear has no choice but to fight back…

For 505 Games, this is going to be a big title, part of their top lineup for summer. Interesting, considering that their biggest franchise is the syrupy sweet Cooking Mama. We’ve seen characters like Naughty Bear before. Take for example, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, which combined many of the themes we see here: cartoon violence and semi-cuddly characters for example, although with a much more adult twist. Other examples are the Happy Tree Friends, who are adorable but also meet their untimely ends in increasingly gruesome ways, and the Japanese character Gloomy Bear, who maims and kills the boy who befriended him because he is a bear, after all. Cute is subverted with over-the-top violence and a dark underbelly to the story. Artifical Mind & Movement and 505 Games are hoping to generate laughs from the young and old with ridiculous kill moves and also appeal to people on a deeper level by encouraging sympathy with Naughty Bear’s plight. He’s a social outcast, and the only way for him to really get ahead is to get even. If you’re easily disturbed by the idea of ripping the stuffing out of a cuddly toy, just think that they would have done it to Naughty Bear if he hadn’t got there first!

Come on, now they're just asking for it!
Come on, now they're just asking for it!

Described as an ‘I-don’t-fucking-care’ bear, Naughty Bear is both cute and a little scary. But mostly, he’s just very very funny. The game revolves around Naughty Bear raining his wrath upon the bears that constantly have it in for him. The game overall is very colourful and bright, taking cues from Saturday morning cartoons, all of the bears named ‘Cuddles’ or similar.

The level demonstrated involved Naughty Bear hunting down Chubby Bear, a character trying to secure votes for Mayor by promising to rid the island of our cuddly hero. Egged on by the suspiciously chirpy narrator, the main aim of the level is to get to the ‘boss’ bear (who gets progressively more difficult as the game goes on) and dole out punishment. To get to him though you have to rack up a certain number of naughty points. Now, you could charge in and start a good old killing spree, but the smart naughty bears will look for ways to sabotage things, look for objects to make creative kills and then keep a combo going to rack up the maximum amount of naughtiness possible.

Lying in wait...
Lying in wait…

Every action sparks a reaction from the A.I teddies. In one level, you could fiddle with the power box and cut the power to the hut, prompting a bear to investigate. A handy picture-in-picture window pops up in the corner of the screen to show what’s going on in other areas, such as when a teddy inside the hut notices that the power has gone off and decides to step outside to fix it. When the teddy comes outside, he’s easy pickings for Naughty Bear who can then choose to shove him face-first into the power box, electrocuting him, or simply stab him. After this, another teddy comes to look, discovers the body, is traumatised, the carnage really starts and then things get really crazy. Either defluff all witnesses, or leave some standing to witness the horror and rack up your score. Similarly, teddies will attempt to call for help and you can jump in and stop them (smashing their head in with the telephone perhaps) or allow the cops to show up and give you even more opportunities for naughtiness.

Just some of the ways in which you can be naughty.
Just some of the ways in which you can be naughty.

Things can quickly get chaotic, and it might be horrifying to read that bears attempting to escape by car can have their heads smashed into car doors, bears can be barbecued or simply hacked to death with a handy machete. But it’s so ridiculous, it’s so over-the-top and the characters are so unreal and cute that it’s nothing short of hilarious. Everyone present laughed out loud as the narrator praised the player for kill moves – “Annihilation!” “Crate Nullification!” and my favourite, “Car-nage!” You can’t really help but find it funny.

He'll never know what hit him!
He'll never know what hit him!

The naughtier you are, the more naughty points you get, the more stuff you unlock and the higher you place on the Global Leaderboard of Naughtiness. Unlockables include costumes which you can use to either make Naughty Bear look even cuter, or use to wreak more havoc. The Police Bear costume for example can be worn to confuse Perfection Island residents, and turn them against the real Police Force, leaving Naughty Bear to watch the fluff hit the fan.

Meanwhile, back in the real world we were given a bag full of Naughty Bear paraphernalia, including a lovely little desktop calendar and some Naughty Bear gummy bears! Turns out that there’s nothing wrong with cooing over the free merchandise, everyone else was eagerly pawing through their bags once they were given out. I bet a couple of people were more than tempted to steal someone else’s gummy bears. It would have been in the spirit of the game, after all.


It’s all in good fun really, and there is a wide strand of dark humour running through the game that will no doubt appeal to everyone’s mischievous side. It’s cartoony enough that you don’t take it too seriously, and simply enjoy helping this mistreated bear give those popular pretty bullies a beating. It also helps that despite his ragged appearance, Naughty Bear is actually more than a little cute and appealing himself, just not in the same way as his saccharine surroundings are supposed to be. It’s rare that you get to feel good being bad, but if you can do so with such an adorable character and with a sense of humour, then there’s nothing wrong with being at least a little naughty, and having fun doing it. I wonder if they’ll make Naughty Bear teddy bears? One would be the perfect addition to my collection!

Susan and the bear







4 responses to “Naughty Bear”

  1. Mark Brown avatar
    Mark Brown

    So its like Hitman… but with fuzzy bears? Not entirely sure why, but that sounds rad!

  2. James avatar

    Heartily approve of the concept. If they make the teddies they’ll definitely have a disturbing Chucky vibe to them. Plus, sequel possibilities aplenty: Brutal Badger, Psycho Chicken, Gibber Fish…

    …Heinous Horse…

    …I’m out.

  3. Mark Brown avatar
    Mark Brown

    I’d absolutely play Crude Crustacean

  4. Susan avatar

    What about Sadistic Squid? There should be an underwater sequel to this game! XD

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