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access_time June 24, 2019 at 12:05 PM in Microsoft by David Poole

E3 2019 Preview | Bee Simulator

Ever wonder what it might be like to be a tiny bee? Probably not, but Varsav Game Studios has taken the liberty to deliver that experience regardless. Focused on creating a family-friendly and fun title, Varsav came up with Bee Simulator, a nifty little game about the life of a bee. Bigben Interactive invited GotGame for a hands-on demo, and we left pleasantly surprised at the experience.

Starting out in a hive, players will be able to name their Bee and will start the tutorial. Flying around is easy enough, even when playing on mouse and keyboard. Guide markers lead you to your next objective, allowing you to go out into a small grotto. It’s here that players will learn how to collect pollen, flying through flowers of various colors and rarities. It’s also here that players learn how to use the speed boost, Beetrous. This helps to get to certain places quickly, but it can’t be used infinitely. Finally, you’ll learn how to use the special Bee Vision. Bee Vision will highlight specific colors of flowers in a first-person view, making it easier to collect certain pollen.

After flying around in the grotto, the next goal was to return to the hive to speak with the Queen Bee. Speaking with her, she assigns a job to our bumble little protagonist, which of course is a honeybee. It’s here that we finally leave the hive and make our way out into the open world. The outside area is a park inspired by New York’s Central Park, complete with wildlife, a zoo, and more. It’s almost noticeable right from the start, but even more here when you see just how big the scale is of this game. Being such a little bee, everything is so much larger.

The park is filled with tons of flowers, but eventually, we start to run into other quests. One such quest involved a sick bee, one who was so out of it, she mistakes the protagonist as one who will harm her and she flies away. Following the bee, players will have to avoid spider-webs and use boost rings to keep up. When we finally reach the end of the chase, a wasp appears and challenges us to a fight. Combat in Bee Simulator is surprisingly tactical, but not quite turn-based. It’s sort of like boxing with bees, using dodges, blocks and counter attacks to overcome opponents. It was a bit tricky on mouse and keyboard, but I feel it would be easier on a controller.

After defeating the wasp, the sick bee comes to her senses and returns home to the hive. As she returns, the game tells us to return as well, making way to the hive and seeing humans outside the tree. Turns out the humans plan on removing the tree, and the bees try to figure out what to do. The demo ended for me here, but it was an interesting experience. The music is apparently done by one of the composers for The Witcher III, though the show was a little loud for me to experience it. I could however hear the voice acting, seemingly fun and charming as the various bees all sounded so kind and gentle.

Bee Simulator gives players a sense of freedom as a bee while also delivering a message. The narrative stresses how important bees are in our world, and tells us to maintain their survival. According to the developers, there are local multiplayer modes, and also various things to unlock. The game boasts some colorful visuals and performs well enough, adding to the presentation. Overall, it seems like Bee Simulator will be a fun family game, rather than a physics nightmare like Goat Simulator. The game is expected to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC sometime later this year.

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