IFComp 2016: SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD!   Leave a comment

By Xalavier Nelson Jr. Played on desktop, not completed.


SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD! is a fairly linear game in Twine; nearly dynamic fiction but not quite. I am unsure as to length. I was undone by the lack of a bookmark / save game feature when I had to leave the computer, and the Three Issues which I get into shortly made me not desire a replay.

I *really* wanted to like this one, and in fact for the first five minutes or so I did. I mean look at this blurb:

SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD! is a game about puns, rampant drug use, learning to enjoy life despite uncertainty, and elderly women in attack helicopters.

(Disclosure: I don’t read most blurbs in an effort to avoid spoilers, but this one just jumped out at me.)

The opening was indeed glorious, with a bear falling through the sky into a Facility by a volcano. Shortly thereafter you switch from the Bear to some people in the facility, and this happens:

BAILEY: Whoa, wait, what’s going o–

CARLA: THERE IS A BEAR, BAILEY.

BAILEY: Wh–

CARLA: OUTSIDE OF THIS ROOM, AN ACTUAL BEAR, WEARING A MASK OF HUMAN SKIN, IS ROAMING THE HALLS.

Unfortunately, that’s where the game peaked. Three issues:

Issue One, which we’ll theme appropriately as Ursa Minor, was the there was the occasional dramatic pause where you have to wait for things to continue for no good reason.

Issue Two, which we’ll theme Ursa Major, was that the text and plot got much less interesting from the point I just quoted above. Essentially it follows the people and the bear in alternating sequences. The bear is somewhat interesting (and even has a flashback where the title line is delivered) but the people are not. Their text scans like the weak first draft of a 90s sitcom. If the characters were less flat, perhaps the endless bear puns would have been charming / clever, but here I was just waiting for the laugh track.

Issue Three, also known as the Ursa Please Make It Stop, is that the game often. delivered. text. in. short. bursts. where you. would. have to. click. and. click. and. click. and. click. to. read. further. SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD! seems like it went for a “cinematic” experience with the linking, but there’s only so much that can be done with words.

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Posted October 13, 2016 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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