I first played Bee Simulator at Gamescom 2018, it was evident that it was going to be a charming game. At that time the game struggled with performance and controls, almost two years later the game is in a much better and enjoyable state. It can’t be said enough how mandatory bees are for our planet’s ecosystem, the game tells that story in a simplified way so kids and adults understand the importance of our cute little flyers. The developer behind Bee Simulator, VARSAV invested a lot of effort in making the open-world interesting enough to explore, but it everything good enough? ‘Bee’ sure to find out in our Bee Simulator review.
What we liked!
- Perfect for kids: The educational value from Bee Simulator is pretty high, explaining why bees are necessary or with some useful information about other animals that can be found in the game. While it isn’t an education game it still provides the player with useful and meaningful knowledge. Developer VARSAV clearly decided to go with the children audience, it shows in the visuals, voice actors and challenge. That’s not a bad thing obviously, it does limit the fun a little for adults that want to enjoy spending time with the bee hive.
- Three mini-games, the one more dull than the other. You dance with bees, you fight against wasps and you race. Dancing is a ‘Simon Says’ mechanic that never gets really difficult. You need to copy another bee three times and call it a day. The fighting system against wasps isn’t much better, resulting in some button-timing for blocking or attacking. I’m sorry to say but the dancing and fighting is seriously boring and lacks any challenge. Lastly, the racing is rather irritating because of the inaccurate steering. Diving through the rings for collecting pollen or keeping up with another bee is easier said than done.
- A fascinating open-world but doesn’t feel ‘alive’: At first the world seems vibrant and active but after a few minutes it becomes clear how unrealistic and predictable things get. NPC’s hardly ever move and everything is packed together in a way that doesn’t even make sense in a dreamworld. You collect pollen, discover animals and cool places but nothing really stands out. Things look decent, especially if you compare it with Goat or Goose Simulator. Bee Simulator has some extensive details that you wouldn’t expect but lacks some overall quality to really impressed.
What we disliked
- Control: You would think that controlling a bee would be easy and not like flying an old Sherman tank. In a hurry, for example races it is really annoying and hard to fly around in a fashionable way. You keep on bumping in on stuff, losing your direction and getting confused. It is frustratingly difficult to fly around in the caves or some of the tight tunnels, forcing you to restart a challenge or race multiple times. It doesn’t make it any less easier that the camera frequently decides to remain stuck behind trees, walls or animals.
Bee Simulator is a decent family-friendly game that is charming and cute enough to be liked by kids and adults. It is a shame that the controls and boring mini-games kill any sort of buzz that the game might have had.