On paper Naughty Bear is a good idea. A cuddly toy bear, spurned by the other bears around him, goes on a kill crazy rampage to teach them a lesson.
The reality is somewhat less impressive. I know – sad faces all round.
Your role is of course to kill everybody before they can either call the police or make their escape. You have the option to sabotage or destroy escape vehicles, and you can set cunning and occasionally inventive traps to eliminate your targets. You can terrorise the locals and, in extreme cases, cause them to commit suicide. As bright and colourful as this world is, it’s mostly definitely not for kids.
The game mechanics are generally clunky, but you can work your way around them if needed. Each map is much smaller than you’d expect, and repetition is key to progressing through the rest of the game. These baby steps of progression are an exercise in tedium as you replay the same maps over and over again doing something slightly differently each time. Secondary tasks such as destroying balloons or party items are simple distractions that exist solely to add points to your level score.
But there are positives, as few as they are. The quick time event death sequences are imaginative, depicting extreme violence in a world where teddy stuffing replaces blood and gore. Naughty Bear is followed everywhere by an omniscient narrator similar to the type seen in children’s television shows, who cheerfully shouts out the type of kill each time. We had great fun trying to see all of the various death sequence animations, which are context based depending on the weapon you’re holding and what inanimate objects you happen to be stood next to.
It’s a mixed bag of positives and negatives, leaving you with a game that could have been incredible but was instead merely okay.
Before you ask – there isn’t an option to apply a defluffication death on the Narrator, unfortunately. That might have made it all worthwhile.