Bear and Breakfast Review

One Person’s Trash Is Another Bear’s Treasure

Given all the stressors in the world, it’s often hard to find relief from all the doom and gloom and find your inner cozy. That comfort can be found in Gummy Cat’s Bear and Breakfast, a simulation game where players take on the role of an adorable bear who becomes a hotel entrepreneur. Running a bed and breakfast in the woods is challenging, but there’s also a lot of joy to be found as well. 

Players take on the role of Hank, a young, dippy bear, who is given an errand by his mother to find a few key items. While running this task, Hank and his friends find a shabby-looking little shed and a shark from “Pawn Voyage” who offers the entrepreneurial experience of a lifetime. Forgetting about the errand and being entranced by the shady shark, Hank learns that he can make money by transforming the shed into a bed and breakfast. The shark explains that by revitalizing Silver Valley, humans will return to the lands and enjoy nature once more. This simple premise is what motivates Hank’s story and is the basis for this cute management sim.

Hank is a delightful protagonist. He’s charming, funny, and completely sincere. What’s even better is that he has a fantastic and quirky supporting cast who makes going from quest to quest such an entertaining experience. Every character Hank encounters is a loveable weirdo, but also provides unique items and services to help Hank’s goals. The writing in Bear and Breakfast is hilarious and does a great job highlighting just how likable all the characters are. 

While the characters and story are a hoot, the main attraction in Bear and Breakfast is the management sim. As players complete tasks, more locations open up, and each offers different challenges that players must adhere to. Customers who visit the resort throughout the game have specific needs that must be met, from how comfortable their rooms are, how well decorated the resort is, and food and hygiene to what kinds of amenities the property has to offer. All of these elements must be taken into account when accepting guest requests, as the closer players are to nailing the customer’s needs, the better the review and payout will be.

Gus is... a terrible helper.

Gus is… a terrible helper.

Players have the ability to forage for food, wood, and other unique items while wandering in different locations. Hank will also encounter trash throughout each of the areas, which is considered a form of currency. Hank can trade his trash for higher-quality decorative items, which can help boost the prestige level of each resort. Having better quality materials also allows Hank to craft better furniture and items to help add character to each of the properties. Players will need to build bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and other spaces to ensure that customers have all their needs met. As players complete quests, blueprints are added to Pawn Voyage, which allow Hank to create items of a higher caliber. 

Finding the right balance of all these elements can be a real challenge, but it also makes for a great puzzle-solving experience. Players can make their properties feel as distinct to them as they like, but not making enough flexible space can pigeonhole players on quest chains where specific rooms or tasks need to be completed. Finishing quests is very important throughout Bear and Breakfast because it’s the only way to get the best upgrades and raise one’s prestige levels. As prestige levels go up, the chances of attracting higher paying customers increase. As the game progresses, certain tasks such as cooking food, heating buildings, and picking up the trash can become automated for a fee. This becomes very helpful with the last two resort properties where there are so many elements to manage. 

However, while Bear and Breakfast is enjoyable throughout, the game has a few odd mishaps that dampen the experience. For starters, players cannot sell items back to make extra cash, and can only trash items they no longer need or want. It’s very easy to also completely fill up the player’s inventory space, as well as the Pawn Voyage storage container. Remembering to frequently trash items is one of the only ways to make space, so not having the ability to sell off unwanted items for cash is a huge missed opportunity. 

Another, more frustrating issue is the fact that items can often get stuck in the environments, making them difficult to retrieve. Trash will constantly get stuck in other objects and areas, which is annoying, and if the player has crafted the space to be a bit on the smaller side, then retrieving those items is next to impossible. Guests also get stuck in walls or disappear completely, which is strange as well. There are also moments of slow down when too much is happening on screen. All these technical issues are annoying and prevent players from having a much smoother experience.

Managing five properties is a lot for one bear.

Managing five properties is a lot for one bear.

Despite these oversights, Bear and Breakfast has such an addictive gameplay loop. From being able to see how profits fluctuate, to setting up guest requests at each resort, even down to the decoration and designing of the resorts, it’s an easy game to get lost in and pass the time. Bear and Breakfast has that “just one more day” pull that makes it hard to pry away from because the game does a great job of showing the player their failures and successes. Since the game motivates players to learn from their mistakes, it certainly encourages growth and problem-solving.

It also helps that Bear and Breakfast looks so adorable. The characters, environments, and resort properties are inviting to the eye, and are fun to explore. There’s a lot of good use of colour, and the cartoony style suits both the gameplay and story. The game also sports a very calm and serene soundtrack that feels calm, cozy, and slow. It makes the player want to slow down, listen, and go at a modest pace when it comes to competing tasks.

Despite some of the game’s flaws, Bear and Breakfast is a game I didn’t know I needed in my life. It’s charming, funny, and an addictive experience. I struggled to pry myself away from it because I kept wanting to up the values of my properties and work through the quests. While some of the drawbacks are disappointing, there’s a lot to love about this game, as there are great rewards that will keep the player coming back. Bear and Breakfast is a wholesome game that will give you all the cozy vibes from start to finish. 

Disclosure: This review is based on a free copy of the game provided by the publisher.

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'Good' -- 3.5/5

Adorable story and characters

Serene soundtrack

Hotel management is frantic and fun

Item constant get stuck in environments

No option to sell unwanted items

Not enough inventory space

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