Sep 13, 2011
Trapped behind enemy lines, you, playing as Oliver the bear, find yourself being encroached upon by an army of teddy bears, all seeking to hug you to death. You must fight off wave after wave of the army of teddy bear zombies before they reach your sandbag barricade. It’s a crazy premise, and it only gets crazier as you watch through each cutscene, learning more about Oliver’s plight and what you must do to get by. However, while the setting and premise are unusual, the gameplay is a little closer to standard stuff we’ve seen before.
As you look across a landscape that seems to have been inspired by Windows XP’s default wallpaper, you see the wall of pink bears making their way towards you. You never move from the barricade; you’re always just waiting for them to come to you so that you can cut them down. Head shots are preferred and result in a stream of rainbow-blood spray. It’s comical, and just slightly disturbing. But then come the boss fights, and things get really weird. The first boss plays like Whack-A-Mole as bears dressed like some kind of carnival game operator — complete with straw hat and cane — pop up and shoot colored “rays” at you. If you take too much damage, or they get too close, as with the normal wave-based battle, it’s quickly game over. Along the way, you also fabricate new weapons, such as the “bearzooka,” the “swearaphone,” a cross-bow that fires unicorn horns and other wild weapons. You’ll need every advantage you can get.
This game is pretty far from perfect, however. On the Android Market page, SkyVu Pictures warns that the game takes a while to load, and it does. I can only wonder, if the developers know about it, why don’t they fix it? Other problems crop up in the sound department, where the volume seems to be all over the place. During cutscenes, for example, the volume is high and sounds distorted. Yet, during gameplay, the volume is much more acceptable. Then comes the shaky controls that sometimes don’t respond. Out of all this, however, the worst problem is that the game doesn’t seem to retain any of your progress. Clicking “resume” doesn’t do anything; you’re always starting from the beginning of the game. I’m not sure if it’s a bug or by design, but it’s quite annoying if you like games with a sense of progress.
Battle Bears: Zombies! could be a lot better. Technical problems aside, it’s a quick, forgettable thrill that seems to be very haphazardly put together. Fun though it may be at first, the gameplay simply doesn’t live up to the concept and zany visuals. It especially doesn’t live up to the action and suspense of its own cutscenes. As a simple shooter, it might be fun for a few minutes for a quick distraction. The steady stream of new weapons certainly help add some diversity to the game, but beyond that, it tends to get a bit monotonous.