There isn’t enough buzz going on about Bee Simulator now available for Xbox One. Bigben and Varsav Studio bring a game that lets you live the life of a honey bee. You’ll be buzzing around the park collecting pollen, performing tasks for other bees and animals and just exploring a vast Central Park like environment. You’ll have hazards along the way you must overcome, but you still must complete your number one priority and collect that pollen. Believe it or not, the game is quite a bit of fun and very educational.
Visually, you’ll get a full living world with people, animals, insects and more. The bee model looks fantastic and you can even change your species if you have a skin unlocked. Buzzing through the air is a daunting and sometimes tedious task as you roam the vast terrain of the park and while the map itself is not huge, it will seem enormous through the eyes of a bee. I think the game looks fantastic and accomplishes pretty much what it sets out to do. The view through the eyes of the bee Is a pretty cool perspective to see and it reveals the different types of flowers from common to epic.
The game is presented as the story of a young bee born into the world and immediately put to work as a pollen collector. As the story progresses you will run across tasks that have you doing all sorts of things like racing, collecting certain types of flowers, dancing and even fighting against other bee species. These tasks are represented by either a glowing yellow beam of light as a main mission or several different colors as side missions. Red is for fights, Orange is for Bully missions, Green is for collecting missions and so forth.
As you collect pollen you will have to take it back to your hive when you are maxed out with all you can carry. Drop the honey off at the on the honeycomb and head back out to gather more and complete more missions. One thing to note, later on in the story you will have a new hive and you need to look for the hanging honeycomb as this is your delivery point. I had some issues trying to find it the first time I arrived.
That is one of the things the game does good and bad. There are times it holds your hand and leads you right to the things you need to do and then other times you are kind of left to fend for yourself and figure it out. While the task at hand was usually not so hard to figure out, it was still frustrating. Most points of interest will appear on a compass wheel at the top of your screen so keep a keen eye out.
I really loved this game but there was one thing in the game that I truly disliked. The racing. The races pit you against another bee in a chase where you must keep up with that bee as it flies through green checkpoint rings and zigs and zags throughout the terrain. You have a set number of checkpoints you can miss and a certain distance you must maintain in order not to fail the race. Unfortunately, you will fail more times than not due to an inconsistency of some sort where sometimes you would catch the bee and it would fail me telling me I lost. Other times, the course was just too technical having you turn on a dime and change altitudes while maintaining the same speed. Let me just say, I was so happy to finally complete the race missions, but unfortunately there are some in the story mode that you have no choice but to finish. You also only have the chase view to use. I have to wonder if first-person view might not have made things a little easier.
Honestly, the chase sequences were my only real problem with the game. I enjoyed the fights which would have you press the X or Y button at precise moments in a sequence. The dance missions were sort of a memory style game where you would have to remember the moves that the other bee made and repeat them back. Sometimes it could be 3 moves other times it could be 6 or 7.
If you like a game that can be educational but also fun then you should really enjoy Bee Simulator. I had a lot of fun playing the game and while the story itself isn’t super long, there is plenty to do in the way of collectibles and side missions to do. Just playing a game as a bee is something completely unique and really brings a new perspective to how you think of bees in general. There are fun facts and things I never really knew previously so I walk away from the game feeling I definitely learned quite a bit about the bee species and I can say when I see my next honey bee I will definitely think of this game. I definitely recommend checking this title out.
SCORE: 85 out of 100
*** A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes