Cheap Shot: Enviro-Bear 2010

Enviro-Bear 2010 is a game made by crazy people, and they want you to be crazy, too. Part of it is that wonderful, weird type of insanity seen in games like Katamari Damacy, but it’s also got an unhealthy dose of that pull-your-hair-out, what-the-hell-were-they-thinking sadistic school of game design.

In Enviro-Bear, you play as a bear driving a car. Not the most coordinated of beasts, this bear can only perform one action at a time, which you mimic by touching the screen to hold down his paw on the steering wheel, gear shift, or gas and brake pedals. You can also interact with items that fall into your car, like fish and berries, rocks and pinecones, or the occasional rabid badger.

That bear shouldn’t drive when he’s so stressed.

With a perspective set inside the car, Enviro-Bear looks like MS Paint exploded inside your iPhone. This jarring, ghastly color scheme truly makes you feel you are seeing the world through the eyes of a lunatic. Enviro-bear is also so nearly impossible to play that it just might be a joke you can play on your friends: “Hey, check this out! Give it a try’¦ it’s fun.”

But the game is not fun. The idea of it is fun, and we enjoyed a few subtle touches, like the way the gas gauge shows your hunger level, not the car’s fuel level. Using items from the environment to hold down the gas will help your bear drive a little bit, but it’s still practically impossible to get to wherever you want to go. Unless you like practical jokes, don’t bother buying this game, because if you do, the joke will be on you.

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.

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