Title: Bee Simulator
Developer: Varsav Game Studios
Publisher: Bigben Interactive
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Official Site: Bee Simulator
Release Date: November 12th, 2019
Version Tested: PS4
Simulator-style games have become huge in recent years, and this recent one brings the action down to a bug’s life. Bee Simulator by Varsav Game Studios combines fun and charming gameplay with educational learning, but certain shortcomings make it disappointing overall.
Bee Simulator puts you in control of a bee, which must collect pollen for the good of the hive in Central Park. However, trouble comes to the hive as it comes in contact with meddlesome humans, aggressive wasps, and more.
Bee Simulator Brings Small-Scale Action to the Big Screen
The gameplay revolves around flying, collect pollen, and completing different challenges. The challenges range from chasing after insects, or fighting wasps in quick-time combat.
Where the game shines, best is in the flight, as moving around as a bee collecting pollen is fun and quite exciting. It feels smooth like Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man, and it is calming to zoom around the park at high speeds.
Even though the graphics are in a realistic style, each of the bees have a storybook-like voice which has a fun dynamic. The story is nothing too spectacular, but as a fun family game, it works well.
As a busy bee, you will complete objectives for your queen as the hive prepares for the upcoming winter. For the brunt of the game, you will be collecting pollen to bring back to the hive. To break this up, different side objectives will become available.
Outside of that, there are other side objectives to accomplish to earn extra rewards.
An Educational Game That Works
What is most impressive is how the game feels genuine in its use of simulating the life of a bee. Simulator games tend to either be ultra-realistic simulations like Farming Simulator or more comical takes like Goat Simulator. Bee Simulator does have educational aspects in learning about bees and combines it with gameplay to reinforce the simulation.
While Bee Simulator has an easy and hard difficulty, I would recommend going with hard as playing on easy can be quite numbing to play after a while with how generous it is.
While there is some light combat, this is a fantastic game to play with younger kids that do have some educational benefits.
Technical Issues and Lack of Variety
Bee Simulator works well in a lot of ways; however, its shortcomings are apparent from the start. For example, the graphics are not of the best quality, and the animations on humans look janky at best. Especially when flying around at high speeds, objects, and characters
Another issue is the lack of variety in the game locations. The entire game takes place in Central Park, and while there are some different spots, it is mostly the same. This is especially confusing given the games multiplayer content.
Bee Simulator also has a split-screen multiplayer mode where you and a friend can explore as bees together. Instead of being in Central Park, the multiplayer mode has three different maps to explore. For example, players can dodge traffic in a city map or collect pollen on the greenhouse map.
It would have added to the game variety if you could explore these maps in single player. Also, on a base PS4, the game’s frame rate dives into the split-screen mode as well.
Could Use More Story Content
If this were more of an inexpensive game, it would be acceptable to look past these issues, but at $40, these issues are more pronounced. Especially so given that the main story is only a couple of hours long, and if you are not interested in completing side challenges, there is not much to do.
Even though Bee Simulator has its fair share of flaws, it was refreshing to play something different from the usual loot-based shooter that most games are heading towards these days. What is more surprising is that it works as an educational game without feeling too forced.
When Bee Simulator goes on sale, it is worth checking out, but unless the developers fix the technical issues or add more content, the full price is a bit too steep.
Verdict: Bee Simulator provides fun and refreshing gameplay in a good educational wrapper. However, disappointing technical issues, lack of variety, and $40 price is too much to ignore.