A buzz here, and a buzz there–Varsav Game Studios gives us a pint-sized adventure in the shape of Bee Simulator. It’s time to put your wings on and sniff out all the lovely flowers as you turn in your running legs for a pair of nimble wings.
It’s your duty to the Queen and her hive to do what bees do best–bring back nectar for honey. But, something is amiss–the tree your hive is housed in looks to be under the scope of humans set to ‘develop’ the area. A sense of urgency to find another spot for a new, safe hive becomes paramount.
Watch the Bee Simulator launch trailer below:
Bee Simulator is great fun, but it also holds a great deal of knowledge. As you are the bee itself, gaining empathy for these lovely little creatures isn’t hard to do as you bumble around. Loading screens with beautiful art also have accompanied facts–most of which are very interesting even to someone that knows their bee business quite well. At any age, Bee Simulator is wonderfully stimulating to the mind as well as a good time to play.
Let’s talk about the controls. Flying your little bee around can be a tricky affair at first with the curious controls made for a straight line. It’s not impossible to get the hang of it, however in certain challenges it tends to become a bit of a hurdle. Vast, open spaces are easily navigable, but there will often be times where you’re made to fly through hollowed out logs, or the tight spaces of the hive itself. Bumping into walls luckily doesn’t hurt out little friend, but can be quite a chore if you’re in a hurry.
I will warn you that despite the fact that this is clearly a game for all ages, some of it might be a bit too intense for the sensitive soul. My nine year old, educated in the harsh realities of extinction, found themselves in a state of tears one night after playing. The opening cutscene depicts a world without bees and all of the unfortunate consequences that would hold for the Earth and humans as a civilisation. Although there was a firm understanding of how extinction works, it was all just a bit too much and overwhelmed that little person mind. The sobs were real, but it did open up a very nice discussion between parent and child.
You will have all sorts to do, as the ‘levels’ are set up in an open world fashion. Fly around leisurely, or follow a marker to find and complete challenges–you’ll have races, and even a cute game of repetition in the form of bee dancing (that one was my favourite and so very cute! There’s loads of dialogue and story as you buzz from one task to the next, keeping the player engaged. You can also play with a friend in a split screen mode, so there’s no fighting over controllers to get your nectar collecting on!
View some Bee Simulator screenshots in our gallery:
It’s a simple, yet very fun game with loads to do. It’s wonderfully educational as well–something our lovely bee friends no doubt rely on to survive in a world of humans. It does suffer from control issues and there’s more loading screens than you can shake a stinger at, but overall it’s a great experience. If you like bees, then get ready for your ultimate title!
Bee Simulator was reviewed using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Publisher: Big Ben Interactive Developer: Varsav Game Studios Release Date: 14th November 2019 Reviewed On: Xbox One Also Available On: PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch