Bear And Breakfast is a resort administration sim that performs like Animal Crossing. You collect sources day by day, full supply errands, and construct your Airbnb empire–all whereas taking part in as an cute bear. The issue is that Bear and Breakfast lacks the relentless optimism of enterprise sims whereas not delivering on any coherent critique about landlords both. In consequence, Bear and Breakfast feels needlessly bleak about working a hospitality enterprise regardless of the cheerful artwork course.
In Bear and Breakfast, you play as a grizzly bear named Hank, who lives along with his mom. Sooner or later, he discovers a shark robotic that gives him the prospect to change into a small enterprise proprietor. All he has to do is renovate some deserted houses into bedrooms, loos, and enjoyable facilities. The robotic tells him that he gained’t be wealthy, however the course of is a means of revitalizing the forest economic system. And so Hank turns his fixer-upper tasks into correct Airbnbs, hoping to fill the neighborhood with extra people than ever earlier than.
Many of the sport entails gathering uncooked supplies similar to lumber, nails, and sheets of copper. You utilize them to construct rooms, create furnishings, and restore native factors of curiosity to their authentic state. Identical to Animal Crossing, the daring and cartoonish artwork type is what makes doing chores on a regular basis really feel extra satisfying than they’ve any proper to be. However in contrast to Animal Crossing, you need to share a neighborhood with some really irritating neighbors.
Hank is just a few child who, till just lately, was dwelling within the woods along with his doting mom. And but half the residents of the forest are unnecessarily imply to him. Granted, a part of the problem was that it took me some time to comprehend I wasn’t carrying pants, and a few of the residents reacted negatively to that. And I’d perceive if it was simply the bizarre possum or the alligator witch who had been appearing up in opposition to him, however even his pals like to make quips at Hank’s expense. So when each human visitor who confirmed up would make terrified faces and run away from him, I needed to assume the worst. Regardless of how a lot I did for my friends, they might by no means be capable to settle for this grizzly for who he was.
A part of the issue is that Bear and Breakfast’s writing feels immature. There’s not a lot emotional substance to many of the script. As a substitute, I’m reminded of a quippy blockbuster film script the place characters spend a whole lot of phrases saying a complete lot of nothing (I used to be in a position to make this connection extra simply after I observed that a few of the quests had been named after movie titles). The character descriptions are sympathetic, however most of them can’t specific an emotion with out insulting somebody or hedging their ideas. Over time, I began to change into mistrustful of the residents of the woods. It’s little surprise that I ended up considering that the silent people additionally hated the bear who managed the properties they stayed in. (This notion was not helped by my previous experiences with doing customer support work for Airbnbs in actual life.)
The people’ emotional responses modified significantly as soon as I spotted that the pants had been equippable garments, fairly than a quest merchandise that I picked up too early. I made Hank placed on some human garments, they usually began smiling at him. However my preliminary emotions in direction of the friends closely influenced how I constructed my resorts. Every visitor has private preferences for what number of “ornament” factors their room had, however they didn’t care for a way ugly or purposeful the format was. As a result of they didn’t present any kindness in direction of Hank, I began seeing these drifters as nothing greater than a supply of revenue. I’d give them the naked minimal quantity of facilities essential to earn their cash, which meant that my cramped bedrooms had layouts that didn’t make any sense. Though you possibly can transfer your home windows and doorways round everytime you need, you possibly can’t truly change something concerning the partitions.
So the attractive giant bed room that I in-built my first resort truly ended up costing me cash. That room might have been three totally different money-generating resort rooms if I used to be good about it. For my subsequent resort, none of my bedrooms had been as giant as that one. I began raking in tons of money, and I solely felt barely dangerous about it after I noticed the people sleeping in beds that took up everything of their tiny room. Hank doesn’t have any relationship with the shoppers. It’s only a mattress and breakfast.
My damaging emotions about proudly owning a resort chain compounded each time I’d discuss to the robotic who helped me arrange the enterprise. He would taunt me about giving the people shoddy lodging for a tiny fraction of the price. Bear And Breakfast tries to promote gamers on a comfortable vibe. So it feels jarring when the sport continuously reminds gamers that capitalism is in reality a horrible hellscape whereas positioning Hank because the entrepreneurial hero of his neighborhood. A personality would remark concerning the latest inflow of people, and the bear would puff his chest out with satisfaction, or declare that he merely needed to assist. However who’s he serving to?
Is he actually a hero for turning into a small-time landlord in a neighborhood that doesn’t really want resorts to outlive? I don’t want a resort sim to ship some grand message concerning the nature of renting Airbnb rooms. Bear and Breakfast tries to make me really feel like Hank’s endeavor is a part of a constructive turning level for the neighborhood, however there’s nothing that actually means that within the sport techniques or dialogue. Nothing damaging actually occurs both. The company robotic’s dialogue begins to really feel like empty taunting after some time. Particularly as soon as I learn the identical generic 5 star critiques on my enterprise’ social media web page.
The issue with Bear And Breakfast truly jogs my memory of one other line of discourse that happens comparatively often in narrative design circles: Ought to a sport reprimand a participant for behaving murderously whereas not offering a pacifist route? My stance is “no.” If the sport doesn’t present Hank an moral and emotionally satisfying option to run a resort, then it must cease berating him on a regular basis. It was extremely annoying to rock as much as the shark supervisor to show in a quest, solely to be handled to a lecture about how exploitative my enterprise was. Sure, I’m a scumbag landlord. Now are you going to extend the sum of money that the friends pays or not?
And there’s probably not an actual incentive to convey extra people to the woods. They deposit their cash and trash, however the neighborhood will not be actually proven as that a lot better off for it. At greatest, they’re indulging in your bizarre social experiment. Hank finally ends up reworking the forest, however he’s the one one who interacts with people or reaps the rewards of housing them within the forest. The native raccoon appreciates the trash that they deposit on a regular basis, however I needed to surprise: Is it price it?