Naughty Bear

Perfection Island, home to a tight knit community of teddy bears. Teddy bears that love to throw a party and our story here starts with one such party, a birthday party. All the bears were invited, all except one, all except Naughty Bear. Now I can see how this would upset a bear but come on, he is called Naughty Bear and to be honest he should think himself lucky he got that name considering how he behaves. Long story short, the lack of party invite was a step too far, shunned by the popular kids, he goes all Columbine on their asses.

In Naughty Bear you guide the eponymous hero through a nicely realised word of apparent paradise, even the land mines are pretty cute looking. After a brief tutorial the game properly kicks in, essentially you start each level with a party to crash, smash and destroy. Every naughty act will earn you points and keeping up the naughtiness will raise your multiplier. You don’t have that long before your multiplier starts to drop so you’ll be a really busy bear trying to achieve all your main objectives and bonus objectives in good time while filling in the time between them with more minor socially unacceptable acts.

In the world of Naughty Bear the word ‘Naughty’ covers a very wide spectrum of acts. Breaking a window is naughty, flushing a birthday present down the toilet is also naughty. You know what else is naughty? Sabotaging a car then placing a bear trap by the driver’s door of that car to trap whoever comes to fix it, then setting upon that bear with a hand axe and hitting him in the face till the axe gets stuck and he is dead, that is quite naughty. You can do some horrific things in this game, you’ll get a great deal of points for switching on a BBQ then shoving a passing bear into the fire when he comes to switch it off. Generally your ultimate goal is to kill everyone at the party not letting anyone escape, the more inventive you are the more points you can get. Stealth is very important, as once a bear has spotted you he’ll barricade himself in a house and call The Fuzz for help. You can slash, batter, bomb, burn and bludgeon your way through the party goers, you can even drive them to the brink of madness then give them one final scare to make their heads explode in a puff of fluff.

It’s good fun when you start out, I found the contrast of the setting and the horrific acts of violence very funny to begin with but it soon made me feel uneasy. I’m sure others will have made this comparison as it’s very much like Manhunt but with teddy bears. You remember when you first played Army of Two? It was great fun shooting the hell out of everyone and pimping your guns with the huge amount of bloody money you were earning. Then you realised that, as you got to know them, the games ‘heroes’ were a couple of morally bankrupt douchebags. It stopped being fun or funny and just felt a bit wrong. That is how I felt playing Naughty Bear.

The system of timed multipliers really reminded me of the much overlooked Sega game from a few years ago, The Club. It’s this constant striving for high scores that is the game’s real strength. As you progress you’ll unlock new clothes that you can equip for stat bonuses. I would imagine that with enough practice you would be able to string together some epic chains of chaos that will reward you with a huge leaderboard topping score.

My final concern about Naughty Bear is its age rating, I am a huge supporter of the PEGI system but this game is rated 12 and that has led me to wonder if the systems in place at PEGI can handle this kind of game. I worry that people won’t get the joke and will see this as some sort of murder simulator actually aimed at kids. God forbid the Daily Mail get wind of this. I think much of this could have all been avoided with a PEGI 16 rating.







2 responses to “Naughty Bear”

  1. Jake avatar

    I can’t make my mind up on this one. I’ve found the controls to be a bit fiddly when it comes to the more brutal kills. I want to push them in the fire, I just club them to death. I like. I just don’t know if I should.

  2. Paul avatar

    This game is really addictive. Once you get into it the controls are tedious but workable. Sometimes unless you are directly behind a bear you can’t scare them. But once you know this you can work around it.
    Picked the game up for £25 and worth every penny. I constantly find myself saying “just one more level”, then 3 levels later…

    Is great value and has good replay value.

    I never thought shoving a bear onto a barbeque, or into a camp fire would be so much fun 🙂
    Just get in there and kick the stuffing out of them 🙂

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