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iPhone  header logo

Naughty Bear

For: iPhone

If you go down to the woods today...

Product: Naughty Bear | Developer: 505 Games | Publisher: 505 Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Puzzle, Retro | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Naughty Bear iPhone, thumbnail 1
There are many unwanted side effects from playing games: relationship problems, an aversion to daylight, and that strange twitch that grips the entire left side of your body after a marathon run of Call of Duty.

What's not so expected, however, is an intense fear of teddy bears. Those cute and cuddly characters might look harmless enough sat on the end of the bed, but five minutes with Naughty Bear might cause you to take a second look.

That's because in Naughty Bear, bears are brutes. This is a world where one teddy decides go on the kind of murdering rampage that in any other circumstances would land him a prime spot on the local evening news.

Nestling up to Namco

Lucky for you, taking charge of this brutish bear is fun.

There's no denying the fact that Naughty Bear is a straightforward - dare it be said - even derivative action game. Though the characters might be lifted from this summer's console hit of the same name, the gameplay in this iPhone and iPod touch version owes far more to Pac-Man.

Naughty Bear sees you guiding the eponymous naughty bear around maze-like levels with swipes of your finger (or the accelerometer if you so choose). There are two fundamental differences between this and Pac-Man: the size of the levels and the grizzly manner by which your fluffy foes meet their demise.

Battle bears

Thwacking bears in the face with a golf club, shoving them into burning barbeques, and slicing them open is surprisingly easy to do. In fact, all you do is guide your bear around, pick up cupcakes, and avoid the seven brands of other bears patrolling the area who happily knock you out when you meet.

Things change when you acquire weapons. Though sticks or knives only last for a short while, you can cut down all your enemies with ease. It's a handy feature given many of the levels require you to do just that: either kill a set number of bears or rack up so many points.

There are other ways to take out bears, too, the most resourceful of which is lighting fires at spots marked in each stage, which has the effect of attracting adversaries eager to warm their hands. You hide in waiting, then leap out to thrust their faces into the flames when their backs are turned. 

Death on demand

It's those sorts of deaths that stand as the game's killer appeal. There's nothing especially new about the setup, but seeing each bear meet its maker in cartoon fashion is undeniably entertaining.

What may well result in you finally putting your bear to bed, though, is the game's repetitive nature.

While early levels add new elements that keep the challenge fresh – army bears that don't show up on your radar, ninja bears that hide in the trees and attack when you're unawares, and robo-bears that can't be destroyed and follow you around the stages endlessly – these soon become tired and Naughty Bear runs out of steam.

But when it's good, it's very good. While this might be a one-trick bear, Naughty Bear has enough meat on its bones in the early stages to make one or two trips down to the woods more than worthwhile.
 
Naughty Bear
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 13 October 2010
An affectionate ode to Pac-Man, Naughty Bear is worth a play for the hilariously inventive deaths that dominate its gameplay
 
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