Enviro-Bear 2010 has been around for a while now, and we have not yet reviewed it. Perhaps that is because it is so hard to review it. That is often the case with art balancing on the edge of genius and madness.
Most of you have already heard of this game, and it is easy telling why as it created quite a stir when it got unleashed on the App Store. You are Enviro-Bear, and have to fatten up to be able to hibernate. You only have 5 minutes to eat as much salmon and berries as you can until your fat reserves will keep you alive during the winter months. That sounds like an ok premise, but what I left out is the fact that Enviro-Bear has to do this driving around in an orange car reminding me somewhat of a Toyota Prius.
Getting a bear to drive a car is not the easiest task, heck it is even hard to get a bear to just follow the simplest of commands. It is not in the mental disposition of a bear to follow commands, and perhaps that is why Enviro-Bear only lends you the right paw to control the car with. I am kind of guessing the other hand is used for extending a certain finger at the other bears in the forest all driving as poorly as Enviro-Bear.
One paw would be ok if you had a foot to keep the pedals in control with, but no you use the paw for acceleration as well. Dragging the paw over to the gas pedal, and pressing down makes you go forward/backward. The automatic transmission is also paw controlled, and you have to drag the stick into drive/reverse. Ok, now it is getting hectic, and you also have to steer the car. Once you run into some fish or berries you have to catch them with your paw, and stuff your mouth full. Bees will attack you, and you have to use the sore paw to smack them.
After driving around for awhile your car will fill up with debris, and you can throw most of it out of the car. If you need help accelerating you can place something on the gas pedal. I usually place the 5-minute egg clock on it to help me, as well as keeping track of the time. Once the five minutes are up the game is over, and how it ends is up to you and your paw skills.
Enviro-Bear 2010 looks both awful and fantastic at the same time. A child could have drawn this in MS Paint but when you see it in motion it is really cool. The graphics works, and I love them immensely. The sounds are really good with the splashing salmon as my favourite sound right before I let Enviro-Bear devour it. The angry roars as Enviro-Bear gets stung by bees are also a favourite. Engine sounds are really well made as well. Music is some sort of country mashed with elevator muzak further enhancing the madness.
There are no high scores, no online functionality, no save game function, no pause, no settings and yet so many reasons to keep playing the game. It has got the same strange draw as Canabalt when it comes to wanting to find out what happens. Whatever happen to the running man in Canabalt, will he ever survive or find true love? Will Enviro-Bear ever become truly happy, and will the next season bring another car?
I love and I hate Enviro-Bear 2010 at the same time. It is one of those games that I play seldom, but I would never remove from my iPhone. To me Enviro-Bear 2010 is the pinnacle of the App Store evolution. A place where a game can look like crap, play like crap and still become a cult classic enjoyed by the masses. If you haven’t bought it yet I urge you to do so, it is one of the few real must buys, and a game that would never have surfaced on any other platform. It takes a touch screen, a five minute toilet break and a mad mindset to play Enviro-Bear 2010, and most of us iPhone and iPod Touch users are apparently able to provide the latter two.
The final rating is a 1-star and a 5-star, and quite frankly it doesn’t really matter as I consider Enviro-Bear 2010 a must buy no matter how many stars it has.
Enviro-Bear 2010 $0.99
Seller: Blinkbat Games