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Review: Enviro-Bear 2010

August 15, 2009



Enviro-Bear 2010 has an absurd, but simple enough premise: Control a bear driving a car to pick up fish and berries to fatten up for hibernation. Once you’re fat enough you drive in a cave to hibernate before winter comes. Once fish and berries are in your car, move your hand to pick them up and hold them to your mouth. Enviro-Bear_objective When you’re driving you will crash into stuff like boulders and trees which will drop stuff into your car. The game doesn’t take itself seriously, and hopefully you won’t when you’re playing it. After the initial humor begins to wear off you will see there’s an actual game, and even levels to advance.


Not too many features are included. The best feature is the controls which are perfect. It must have taken the developer tons of time to research and track bears, to be able to develop a game that exactly mimics how it would be to drive a car as a bear. You control the hand of a bear, and press on the pedals, control the steering wheel, and driving stick. Enviro-Bear_badger The car you drive is fitted out with an automatic transmission with a driving stick allowing drive or reverse. There is a gas and brake pedal, a clumsy steering wheel, and a couple of gauges. There are an infinite number of levels with varying objectives from collecting fish and berries to collecting fish or berries. Another feature is the badger. When you hit a specific tree a manic pesky badger will fall into your car, and jump all around and eat your food. There are also bees that will sting you, and groups of rocks that will fall in, and land on the pedals and driving stick. Enviro-Bear_fro

The Good

This is the most hilarious game in the App Store. Who would have thought controlling a bear driving a car could be so much fun. The game may be frustrating, but is definitely the funniest gameplay. To pick up fish, you have to drive through a lake, and then to pick up berries you have to go through bushes which is outstandingly amusing. The longer it takes you, the angrier the hungry bear will get, and occasionally let loose with great infuriated growls with bloodshot eyes. Then on level 4 for some reason the bear has a fro which may be the funniest thing in the game. Enviro-Bear_packed Also great is the ever mounting pile of rocks, leaves, and fish skeletons in your car. Most of the time you’re car will pile with so much stuff that you can’t access any of the car mechanics. Also great is when you clip a stump the entire car rolls over which is a joy to see. Another hilarious aspect is the disembodied hand you use to control everything in the game. Surprisingly, there actually is a gameplay mechanic. Drive around as a bear to collect fish and berries can be addictive, especially once you kind of figure it out. Playing through, I was able to make it to Level 4 before winter hit, and the game saved my progress in the middle. The controls work perfectly and exactly portray how it would be to drive a car as a bear. The steering wheel always spins too much making it tough to go straight. The bear can only control one thing at a time, so he can’t steer and press the gas at the same time. **Note: You actually have to pull the gas pedal towards you to accelerate. Enviro-Bear_hibernate The sounds are good as well with an upbeat hectic soundtrack that doesn’t sound like the Benny Hill song, but is reminiscent of it. The chomping sounds of the bear are humorously gross, and you even see drops of saliva spurt from his mouth. The sounds of the car are authentic for an old run down POS with appropriate acceleration & braking sounds. The crashing of the car is spot on too whether it's into trees or other bears' cars.

The Bad

The hilarity of the game wears off relatively quickly, but if you come back a week later, it will be funny again. If you don’t like challenging games then you won’t like this game. It may be the most difficult game ever, no matter the platform. It feels like a great accomplishment just eating enough and making it into a cave once. Enviro-Bear_winter The visuals make a mockery of gaming in general, and all other iPhone games, but it’s supposed to be like that. Everything is blocky, and the colors are so off it’s funny. It looks like something from the early 1990s. The bear looks like anything but a bear, and is more closely related to sasquatch, chewbacca, or a brown godzilla. The bears in the other cars are simply brown blobs with eyes. The cars themselves are square orange POS’ resembling a ford fiesta, but they sure can take a beating.

The Verdict

Enviro-Bear 2010 is the best joke app in the App Store. Forget the fart apps or moron tests, Enviro-Bear can fill that spot on your iPhone. Forget a real racing driving sim, or flight simulator because none quite match bear-driving-a-car simulator. This may be the best implementation of controls yet in the App Store. If you appreciate humor, this game is worth it, if not you won’t understand the allure of this game at all. As a game it's solidly worth considering, but as an entertainment app it's a must buy. [gallery link="file" columns="4"]

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