Platforms: Switch, mobile
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 18/06/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
When I started up this cute pixel art game, I was expecting a nice wee relaxing experience where I was helping the recently deceased. What Bear and his Restaurant deliver is an experience I was not expecting AT ALL!
Bear’s Restaurant starts with your character, a cute wee gray Cat being awoken by Bear, to come downstairs in your uniform and start customers are waiting. Once in the restaurant, you are asked to talk to a customer to get the order they want. You collect a memory shard from all the souls. This will allow Bear to cook their favourite meal and off they go to wait for the train. Even though you have no memory yourself.
Bear’s Restaurant was set up for Bear to find his daughter who is not in Heaven or Hell. Will Bear be able to find his daughter and get to heaven?
The gameplay loop is simple enough. You wake up in the morning, get changed and go down to the restaurant. Where a customer will wait for you, talk to them and get the memory core, hand it over to Bear, who makes the food they want. This happens three times a shift. However, on the third customer you will need to ‘dive’ in to their memory.
Diving sees you the Cat going, seeing the memory of the time they had their perfect meal, so you can get Bear to cook it. After this last customer, its off to the station to learn more about the customers.
So far I was like this is rather relaxed wee game until Bear said “you can look at the memory cores before bed if you like. “So being the good little Cat I Am, I ran back to my room and jumped up to table. Where a bloody content warning pops up, basically asking if you want to see the memories as they can be upsetting. Still not deterred by this, I plodded on. With the game being pixel art, the deaths were not overly graphic in the portrayal of death. It was more of the sheer change in tone. It took me aback, even with a warning. I won’t spoiler any.
After this point the game gets dark really quickly, with more about Bear and his daughter and how she died. Demons, a trip to hell, moral choices, sacrifice, friendship to hopefully finding his daughter. Let just say Bears Restaurant is an emotional roller coaster of a game. Not to mention it does not feel like it will end, it will make sense if you play Bears Restaurant.
Overall, Bear’s Restaurant takes you on a journey you did not want to or expect you would have to go on. But ultimately it is an emotional heart felt story of a father looking for his daughter. Bear’s Resturant had me hooked after the first twenty minutes, did not put it down until I saw the credits roll.
I would recommend if you want something to make you reflect and maybe cry a little (no, I did not cry).