If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise! There’s a Naughty Bear armed with a big shiny machete and an evil grin! Read on to find out what he wants to do with it.

You play the character of Naughty Bear, a sociopathic bear who lives on a island with a community of other bears who are not his greatest fans. The game is split over seven chapters, each with a different theme and storyline such as gatecrashing an uninvited party, ending a zombie invasion and ruining an election. Each chapter has five missions which vary on gameplay type. Naughty Bears aim is to put an end to the boss of each chapter by using any means necessary.

A typical mission will require you to play through two of the three areas of the game; a Disco, Factory and Tea Room or The Cabin. Each area is average in size, enough for a few buildings which can be explored and traps set up for future shenanigans. Outside areas are surrounded by woods which Naughty Bear can hide in and remain safe and unnoticed by the majority of his enemies. Enemies range from normal bears, to gun wielding police and SWAT teams, aliens and zombiesbears. Challenges are set for each area and can include scoring a certain amount of points, killing all the bears and not allowing any to escape the area. Optional challenges are also provided which give a bonus to your score when completed.

It essentially comes down to two methods to complete the challenges; kill the bears outright or drive them to suicide by making them insane. Killing is often the quick and easy solution and doesn’t require much explanation; find a bear and use your weapon to kill him. Driving the bears insane is the longer method but it is where the game really comes into its own. Scaring a bear instead of killing is not only more fun, it rewards you with more score and a better gaming experience. An injured or scared bear will continue to walk around the area and will start to affect the mentality of other bears. Once a bear sees a scared or limping bear for example, they too will get paranoid thus starting a chain reaction. Sitting back and watching the events unfold is great fun and before long you have several insane bears running around or hiding in cupboards.

Driving bears insane by scaring them is the more tactical approach and you have a variety of ways to do this. Scenery such has phone boxes, arcade machines, power supplies and BBQ’s can either be Sabotaged or Destroyed. Sabotaging an object will lure a bear to repair it, while they are occupied you can sneak up on them and perform either a Super Scare or a Ultra Kill. The Ultra Kills rewards you with a cool cut scene such as electrifying a bear on the power supply or smashing a bears face into a lit BBQ. The cut scenes are extremely comical, there are plenty to discover and you will want to watch them all. A destroyed object is less beneficial in most cases as you lose out on the ability to scare and kill, but this can be used to cut the bears’ lines of communication and escape routes.

There are a wealth of items which Naughty Bear can use as weapons, including an arsenal of guns, knives and sports equipment, along with some chapter themed weapons such as ninja swords and ray guns which are scattered around the level. They all have a kill animation which can be activated by tapping the right trigger when a bear is nearly dead. My personal favourites are the axe which sees Naughty Bear continuously hacking at a bear, and the golf club where the unfortunate bears head is used while taking a drive shot. The animations are intentionally over the top, and like the Ultra Kills you will not want to miss any. A number of costumes for Naughty Bear to wear can be unlocked as you progress through the game, each have varying statistics for health, strength, accuracy and speed as well as other benefits such as disguising.

Naughty Bear has a mixed bag of seven gameplay types for the missions, these include ‘Insanity’ which requires you to drive all the bears insane without killing them, ‘Invisible’ requires you to stay unnoticed by other bears and ‘Speed Run’ requires you to complete the mission within a time limit. They offer some variety in the way you approach the mission, Insanity for example is a more subtle approach and is all about planning as to what you should sabotage to scare the fluff out of a unwitting bear. While Invisible requires some patience and plenty of stealth to avoid being seen, you can use guns to your advantage and shoot from within the relative safety of the woods.

Despite the variety of gameplay types, they all start to feel very similar and it is here where the weakness in the game lies. After a few games you will start to notice that the same tactics can be used in whatever mission you are playing. While the game always remains fun to play, it does become somewhat repetitive. Chapters and missions are unlocked via Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum trophies that are awarded based on your mission score. Later chapters and missions require more trophies to unlock and you will often find yourself forced to replay many of the previous missions to gain the required trophies. It is quite a challenge which I think could have been better balanced, it feels like it is a deliberate attempt to hide the fact that there are seven main missions which without the trophy system could be completed in a hour or two.

Multiplayer games come in four varieties. ‘Assault’ is your typical turn based deathmatch style game where two teams take turns to attack and defend a Golden Unistatue. ‘Cake Walk’ requires the player to keep hold of a Glorious Golden Cupcake for as long as possible to score points, while doing so the player cannot attack or defend. Golden Oozy is a one man against team survival game where the team must kill the Oozy wielding player. Finally, ‘Jelly Wars’ is a team based game similar to capture the flag where players must return jellies to their base. At the time of reviewing the game I was unable to try the multiplayer modes as the game was unreleased, so I am unable to comment on them.

Presentation is done well, with bright colourful menus that are easy to navigate. Each mission has its own global online leaderboard so you can compare how naughty you are with other players. A nice feature is you can view the top scorer during the game as something to compare and aim towards beating. Useful hints are provided during the game which can be accessed through the comprehensive in-game manual. A small TV screen is shown in the corner during play, this shows any important activities such as a bear repairing something or a bear caught in a trap, this is very useful if you have set up a number of traps as you would otherwise miss them.

Graphically the game is average, the environment has a more of a Nintendo 64 look to them rather than something from the current generation, some scenery textures can look fairly plain while others are more detailed such as the bears. It does represent a cartoon style environment so some leeway can be given. There are some issues with the camera, in particular after a scare or kill cut scene, the camera will reset from your previous angles and it can leave you disorientated which can be very annoying if inside a building or surrounded by bears. During normal game play you will often encounter some awkward camera angles when near scenery, again not ideal when trying to sneak around in the woods.

The music track has a cartoon feel to it, the evil twists which can be heard during the game come in at the right times which are satisfying, though you may start to get a little bored of the child like nursery rhyme jingles. The sound effects ranging from giggling and scared bears, to the weapons firing, hacking and slashing are faithful to the cartoon theme. An either love it or hate him narrator provides a sarcastic introduction to each mission and throughout the game he announces events such as Ultra Kills which, for me at least, were always fun to hear. The music and sounds work well together and add to the atmosphere of the game.

Naughty Bear is a fun game that plays on the cartoon violence theme very well. If you are prepared to play the game as the developers intended, by using scare tactics instead of straight kills then you will find an enjoyable game. Finding new ways to kill and scare the bears is great fun if you do not miss the action due to poor camera angles. You may find progressing in the game a challenge as the trophy based unlock system can make the game feel very repetitive. If you can live with these issues it may be worth checking this one out as the RRP on this game is lower than usual UK £49.99, with many stores selling for £29.99, US $ price is around $47.

Rating
Description
6.5Gameplay
Old review system import, no comments available
7.0Graphics
Old review system import, no comments available
6.0Sound
Old review system import, no comments available
6.0Final Score

This review is based on approximately nine hours of play. The game was supplied to us to review by the publishers, 505 Games.