Bee Leader is a little like the PlayStation 3 game Flower. It’s highly polished, simple, and relatively peaceful. Also, both revolve around flowers. Bee Leader doesn’t have the same sweeping graphics, but we appreciated the simplistic and polished approach to nectar gathering.
In this game, you take the role of an oversized honeybee tasked with navigating a side-scrolling circular landscape in search of nectar and honey for the hive. These come from flowers, honey pots, and even barrels of honey. The goal is to fill the hive with honey, which rewards you with points and new levels.
There are four worlds, with three hives in each. The themes of the worlds are desert, city, island, and country, and the respective thematic elements are delivered in a good-humored manner. Bee Leader provides replay value through finding bee buddies and besting your high scores, but 12 levels still seems a bit short.
Follow the bee-der.
Controlling your bee is essential to the game, and the developers provided eight ways to control your bee, plus the ability to use another iOS device as a controller. The eight ways are just variants on a virtual joystick, accelerometer controls, and touching the screen to direct the bee towards your finger. Unfortunately, we found that each one of these many controls were difficult to master, due to a strangely high sensitivity level. Without any way to adjust sensitivity, we were left focusing more on mastering the controls than avoiding the storm clouds.
Speaking of storm clouds, there are many enemies in the game that try to prevent your honeybee from collecting its nectar in peace. These range from birds to spiders to volcanoes, and they are all frustrating. You can’t do anything to fight the enemies, and there are far too many in each level for you to successfully avoid them. Throw in the touchy controls, and your bee loses a lot of nectar while you lose a lot of patience.
Even with these drawbacks, Bee Leader is a unique game with a lighthearted character and highly polished design. Its humor is well paired with fun facts about helping bees out, because they’re facing some tough times out in the real world. That might be one of the points of including so many obstacles, but until they make flying feel more natural, we can’t give it our highest mark. Still, this one’s worth a look.