There’s more than one way to kill a teddy bear. At least there is in Battle Bears, a clever shooter from SkyVu Pictures.
You play as Oliver, a foul-mouthed brown teddy bear who has just made off with a wagon full of gold and mystical treasures. You’re being chased by a horde of fluffy pink teddy bears whose sole goal is to hug you to death. ‘Hug me’ they call, over and over again, in a high-pitched voice.
When your unicorn-drawn cart crashes, you’re forced to take cover. After firing off a string of expletives, the game begins with you shooting at wave after wave of cuddly enemies.
Killing these possessed children’s toys is great fun. Body shots cause neon blood to gush out, while headshots make the head pop off and rainbows come out of the neck stump. The colorful deaths and high-pitched, cartoonish death cries contrast nicely with the serious battle music playing in the background
There are a number of weapons you can use to ward off the marauding pink bears, including a rifle with unlimited ammo, a unicorn horn crossbow and a bearzooka, which shoots pink teddy bear limbs. Each of the five levels, made up of four stages each, unlocks a new weapon you can use to attack or defend against the enemy bears. Every stage gets progressively harder, with more bears coming at you faster.
Battle Bears manages to provide a good challenge without being frustrating. In addition to the dozens of pink teddy bears you must continually fight off, occasionally super speedy orange bears or lumbering, gigantic blue bears will show up to provide some variety.
There is no way to save your progress, though, so if you get hugged to death halfway through the game, you must start over again from the beginning. This can get annoying, but the game is so much fun to replay that it’s not a big problem.
This is our worst nightmare.
One of the more interesting features are the two shooting styles. You can either have your gun fire bullets automatically while you set your sights on the bears, or you can select the relative option, which allows you to aim and then tap to fire. This acts like a sniper mode, having you shoot the bears carefully instead of mowing them down. Though this mode is more difficult to master, the aiming is a bit more choppy than in absolute mode, and it can be a bit slow to pan left and right across the screen.
We won’t spoil the ending for you, but Oliver’s hatred of the pink teddy bears is never fully explained. We will say that Battle Bears gives you a very twisted ending to a delightfully twisted game. Beating the game also opens up survival mode, which allows you to fight wave after wave of enemy teddy bears.
Battle Bears is a fantastic shooter with wide appeal. Its easy-to-use controls make it a good introduction to survival shooters, while the challenging stages offer something for the more seasoned player. SkyVu promises future updates, new levels, and even a film based on Battle Bears. We enjoyed this game and look forward to any new developments. At $.99, Battle Bears is a Must Have.