Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone
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The Battle Bears series is the story of a warrior bear, Oliver, and his battle against a race of colorful bears called the Huggables. The Huggables seek to hug our antagonist to death, but Oliver's not gonna have that. His plan? Blow 'em up.
Indeed, the whole premise of the Battle Bears series is somewhat silly and crazy. But it's fun, which is why the series has spawned numerous games and a growing fanbase.
The original Battle Bears: Zombies game took the form of a rather simple third-person shooter in which players fended off hordes of cute, cuddly bears that aimed to hug Oliver to death. However, the game's developer, SkyVu, temporarily took the franchise in a new direction with the release of Battle Bears -1, introducing free-roaming gameplay and several RPG-esque game mechanics. With Battle Bears Blast, though, the developer is returning the series to its shooter roots.
The ultimate goal of Blast is to survive an onslaught of Huggables. Gamers control Oliver, who rests in a fixed position the entire game. The player's only weapon is a microwave gun, which they can aim with using the touchscreen. As bear after bear approaches, players must aim and microwave the Huggables before they get too close to Oliver. The whole experience is kind of like a zombie game, but with cute, colorful bears instead.
Admittedly, the concept of microwaving a cute, colorful bear might sound more gross and disturbing than it does funny or entertaining. But Battle Bears Blast is a gore-free title. When players kill a Huggable, they explode into rainbows, giving the game a lighthearted feel. This stylistic choice combined with humorous voice acting gives Blast a somewhat charming tone even.
While previous Battle Bears games allowed Oliver to equip different weapons, being limited to just the microwave gun makes Blast a simpler and lighter game overall. However, there is still a little more to the experience than mindlessly killing Huggables. For example, the game encourages players to mindfully target and kill bears of the same color simultaneously for extra points. Also, gamers can take advantage of Oliver's sidekick, Wil, and the bombs he drops onto the battlefield to tactfully eliminate as many Huggables as possible at once. At the same time, they must be careful not to accidentally kill Wil or it's game over. So, there is some strategy to be had here.
Compared to previous installments in the series, Battle Bears Blast may be an ultimately simpler and lighter game. But it's still a silly and fun shooter. For gamers looking for something they can pick up and play on the bus ride or wherever they want to kill a little time, this is not a bad choice at all.