Review – Bears In Space

Prepare for a wild ride through the cosmos in Bears in Space, a retro-styled, single-player first-person boomer shooter that delivers a ton of shooting action, along with sprawling platforming sections, collectibles, gorgeously rendered set pieces, and epic boss battles. Developed by the passionate team at Broadside, this game blends absurdity with solid gameplay mechanics to create a nostalgic and entertaining experience 

The game has a fairly straightforward premise, you play as Maxwell Atoms, a senior space hero who merges with a giant Bear named Beartana after a hilarious mishap aboard his spaceship (I know! This premise, stick with me, it pays off I promise!) Crash-landing on a planet filled with hostile robots sets the stage for an adventure spanning factories, dungeons, medieval villages, and even a space carnival as you strive to return to Earth in one piece. After the bear-merging your character is now equipped with super-human abilities, including the standard video game fare like double jump, dash, and the ability to transform into a giant bear after consuming honey. 

The game’s playful tone permeates every aspect, from its goofy storyline to its arsenal of bizarre and crazy weapons, including the rubber band anvil launcher and the duck gun that turns breadcrumbs deadly. You can level up these weapons and apply upgrades simply by using them. Trying to pick up ammo is a lesson I learned the hard way. You need to purchase ammo, which can be done from the business robot Victor Spendley, who has various outlets scattered through the levels. Combat is frenetic and challenging, requiring quick reflexes and strategic weapon cycling as you face off against waves of enemies. The ability to replay levels and uncover hidden secrets adds replay value, which had me go back to find every collectible and try out new weapons I collected on enemies I struggled with earlier in the game. It really is just so much fun, you will want to go back and replay each level. 

Visually, Bears In Space embraces its retro roots with chunky, colourful graphics reminiscent of retro platformers. It reeks of nostalgia in all the right ways that make it feel comfortable and was something that you can just sink right into. This works in hand with the sound effects that, while repetitive and unique, work in sync with the visuals. The game has a unique sense of humour and style in the writing that is reminiscent of cartoons from the early 90’s fused with a Rick & Morty wit that will resonate with fans who love this style. 

Despite its charm, “Bears in Space” isn’t without its flaws. Occasional technical issues like freezing on startup and stuttering cutscenes do soften the experience, but these are minor inconveniences in an otherwise enjoyable adventure. It is worth nothing that the majority of this review was conducted on a Lenovo Legion Go with some levels on PC, there were less technical issues on the Legion Go than PC, and I found this a great title to pick up and play on the go. It also handles well when you detach both triggers and use Joycon style. 

Overall, “Bears in Space” earns its stripes as a delightful romp through a quirky universe. With its excellent gameplay and endearing characters that ooze with charm, it’s a must-play for fans of retro boomer shooters and those seeking a lighthearted gaming experience. There is tons of replay value here so you initial foray into the world will beg further exploration. Just when you begin to feel comfortable, the game has no issues throwing things at you entirely out of nowhere and re-capturing your interest when you think you have everything figured out. It is a really difficult game to define and peg into one specific genre, and this is exactly what makes it a gem. 

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Prepare for a wild ride through the cosmos in Bears in Space, a retro-styled, single-player first-person boomer shooter that delivers a ton of shooting action, along with sprawling platforming sections, collectibles, gorgeously rendered set pieces, and epic boss battles. Developed by the passionate team...Review - Bears In Space