There's a class that's seriously under-represented when it comes to video games, always the mob, never the protagonist. We are, of course, referring to the magnificent, noble bear. While the bear occasionally gets a look-in -- World of Warcraft and Enviro-Bear being two notable examples -- more often than not, the poor misunderstood bear is treated as an enemy to be punched.
Luckily, one brave game is attempting to redress the balance -- by combining it with one of our favourite genres ever, the simulation.
"A few games in the past got it right and have been rewarded with universal praise, notably Banjo-Kazooie and Enviro-Bear, but there [haven't] been many solid, somewhat realistic bear simulation games (if at all). That's where this comes in," one-man developer Farjay Studios explains on the game's Kickstarter page. "Sure it may seem like a 'dumb idea' or a 'really dumb idea' but you can't honestly tell me you've never secretly wanted to be a bear wandering around the forest. That's just an outright lie."
Bear Simulator, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, will make all our dreams come true. In it, you get all the beary adventuring you could hope for: wandering the woods, fighting prey, and paw-smacking anything that moves.
Actually, it sounds a bit deeper than that. The game is, first and foremost, an exploration game, and will have lots of secrets to discover across multiple areas. In addition, you'll be able to customize your bear (although, since the game is in first perso- er, bear, there's not a lot of the bear that's actually visible) and make animal friends (assuming you don't eat them first). It actually sounds like rather a rich and interesting experience, and alpha screenshots and footage look really well put together. In fact, we wouldn't be surprised if the developer turns out to be a veteran of the industry -- he's remarkably good, however, at keeping his identity mum.
Backer rewards are pretty sweet, too. All Kickstarter backers who pledge $15 or more (the minimum pledge to get the game) get access to an exclusive in-game island that features backer-submitted ideas, as well as a key that unlocks a secret shed.
Higher reward tiers include ultracool sunglasses for your bear's HUD avatar; an exclusive white bear with glowing tattoos; a red squirrel friend; appearing in-game as a rock; and items such as T-shirts, tote bags, stickers, and prints.
The game will be distributed via Steam. You can head over to the Bear Simulator Kickstarter page to learn more and pledge your support. Which you absolutely should. Because bears.
(Source: CNET Australia)