Some tiny bees buzz about! But not on the forest and heath, but instead on our TV and screens sets. Through Bee Simulator, we slip into the soft carapace of an insect and experience the world of gaming by looking through an insect’s eyes. Sounds like lots of work and not as much fun. Yes and no.
Its “simulation” that is in the subtitle may be false since Bee Simulator doesn’t even attempt to recreate the real-world scenario as precisely as is feasible – in fact, it’s the contrary. In the story-driven campaign that lasts for about three hours, players experience an intense story told from the point of view of a honey collector in a small town to find an alternative place for the swarm. The honey hive is situated in a tree, which is about to be slashed by humans. Exploring the game’s world, fighting off adversaries, completing various chores for Queen Bee, and collecting many pollens are all in the plan. Unfortunately, the technical staging, particularly the plot, does not meet expectations in most cases. There’s very little suspense throughout the tale, and no one of the protagonists can create any powerful emotions for the viewer. Waldemar Bonsel proved 100 years ago in his books “Maya the Bee” and “Sky People” that it could be done better. However, you’ll get a wealth of interesting facts regarding these fascinating insects. Did you know, for instance, that a bee could collect up to four million grains of pollen on a collecting flight? I am aware of this and hope that you will too. Despite the increase in information, Bee Simuator isn’t a game that teaches because the information provided is not involved in the gameplay and is simply displayed during loading times or as textual illustrations in the library. What it does accomplish, however, is to highlight the importance of the subject and the apprehensive risk of dying bees to the player’s awareness. Anyone who plays this game will examine honey collectors through totally different eyes when they return next summer.
Bees are particularly monotonous.
The daily routine of a bee is comprised of three tasks. The first, and most importantly, pollen needs to be taken care of. It’s relatively simple to accomplish by just passing through the rings above the different flowers. After you’ve obtained enough, you take your collection back to the beehive. Like in real life, it is possible to communicate with the other group by dancing. You just have to mimic the movements using the buttons that correspond to the actions. Suppose you meet opponents, and the game shifts into battle mode, which can also be played as a series of short-term events. Other tasks make the game fun, including racing against other insects or collecting contests. But this isn’t enough to conceal the reality that the Bee Simulator hardly has an array of options. After just a little over one hour of play, it’s gone through the game three times, and as the difficulty isn’t very high, the possibility of boredom is quickly triggered, especially for older players.
The reason that even the younger target group doesn’t get the value they deserve is that the controls require some time to become familiar with. For one, I could easily control the bee after around half an hour of acclimatization; however, my little assistant tester was already putting the controller down in anger at the point of frustration. It wasn’t helping to know that Bee Simulator offers an option to split screen with as many as four people. However, you can only explore the world of games with friends and battle against each other in various mini-games.
I am a sucker for unusual but intriguing game ideas, and that’s why Bee Simulator was on my list for Gamescom 2018. Although I was intrigued by the fundamental concept, the refreshing method of generating enthusiasm for the subject, and the amount of passion that was put into the project, it left me a bit disappointed. Sure, I’m not a part of the targeted gamers, as Bee Simulator’s gameplay Bee Simulator is geared towards a younger crowd, but with a better storyline and greater variety of gameplay, I might be more. The educational aspect could definitely be expanded or better integrated into the game’s gameplay. Summa summarum (attention pun alert!) The Bee Simulator has specific weaknesses that are fun, but because the publisher Bigben collaborates with NABU (Naturschutzbund Germany e.V.) and a percentage of profits are donated to an Insect Protection Fund is dedicated to young insect lovers especially should consider taking more time to look into the game.
What’s Bee Simulator?A bee simulator with the option of a story-driven campaign and split-screen mode. Link: Official website