Bee Simulator Review - A Bee’s Life

Bee Simulator

There are simulators for just about everything on the PS4. Some of them, like Bus Simulator, try to accurately portray the subject matter. Others, like Surgeon Simulator, aren’t too concerned with realism. Next up in this double-sided genre is Bee Simulator. Now, this could go either way, but ultimately it’s all about how fun the game is to play.

Does Bee Simulator achieve the ultimate title of being the “bee’s knees?” There’s plenty to discuss here, so let’s dive right in and see.

Bees Actually Dance, but That’s Where The Realism Ends

Bee Simulator seeks to strike a balance between an educational experience and a series of minigames that make it feel like more of a game than a simulator. It’s an odd combination, because I like the idea of a title that points out the crucial role bees play in the global ecosystem.

Simultaneously, I don’t mind minigames, but Bee Simulator betrays its name by leaning too far into the realm of fantasy. Bees and wasps talk to each other with fully voiced dialogue that ranges from decent to awkwardly delivered voice acting. While bees do in fact dance to communicate with each other, the minigames would rather focus on timed button presses for combat and racing than more appropriate activities that a bee would be doing in real life.

Perhaps the only thing that feels like a true simulation of being a bee is the pollen collecting. Using your “bee vision” you can see the rarity of each flower using a similar color coding system to looter shooters. I actually think this is a perfect example of meshing game mechanics with a more realistic task that relates to real life bees.

Even the combat is something I don’t mind too much (but it’s hard to get past bees body slamming wasps or “blocking” attacks). The minigames for dancing, combat, and pollen collection aren’t terribly original or realistic, but they work fine.

It’s the racing that lost me from a gameplay perspective. The camera is pulled in very close on your bee, and you control your height independently of your other movements. Races that take you into underground tunnels or close quarters can quickly lead to the camera erratically flying all over the place as you continuously crash.

The controls just don’t lend themselves to this kind of movement, and the camera isn’t up for it either. As part of the short story mode, you can choose to participate in challenges that use these minigames, or follow the main objectives.

The objectives are generally the same and include the minigames used in challenges. There are moments when it clicks and it becomes a fun experience for all ages, but the shortcomings and overall simplicity can’t keep repetition at bay for long.

Bee Simulator has elements that I really like, but it fails to truly simulate much of what makes the premise interesting. Instead, it relies on simple mechanics and minigames to fill out the gameplay experience. Even with split-screen co-op and PVP, along with a hard difficulty, it’s not enough to really make the experience truly stand out.

A Largely Impressive Presentation

Bee Simulator

The presentation in Bee Simulator is one of the strongest aspects of the title. The detail on your bee model is impressive, and the open world area has a nice sense of scale. Things like other animals and people are decently modeled, but don’t hold up well to scrutiny up close.

Little touches, like being able to sting things for unique reactions are funny, but Bee Simulator feels too simple for its own good. For those who want something family friendly to play with the little gamers in their life, there’s certainly some fun to be found in Bee Simulator, but for those who wanted something a little more in-depth, you’ll find that this hive runs out of honey a little too quickly.

Final Score: 7.0/10

A copy of Bee Simulator was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes.

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 11/22/19

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