Bear and Breakfast is an adventure management game from Gummy Cat and Armor Games Studios where you, a bear named Hank, go on quests to craft items, cook food, and explore the world, all while managing an expanding franchise of bed and breakfasts.

The hook of Bear and Breakfast is in the name: You’re a bear, and you run a B&B. To do this, you renovate decrepit buildings and divide them into rooms that you then furnish with the necessary amenities.

Each guest has stats to satisfy like comfort, hunger, hygiene, and decoration, and each stat can be fulfilled by creating a certain type of room with matching furniture. Bathrooms must be placed within a certain distance of bedrooms in order to provide hygiene, bedrooms need a sufficient quality of bedroom furniture to be appealing, and finding ways to create within these constraints is initially an interesting challenge.

The companion to this is the light adventure elements. You go to new places, talk to people, complete quests for them, and then unlock new areas. Mostly, these are either fetch quests or involve upgrading your B&B in a certain way. After you fulfill the requirements, you’ll either unlock a handy tool for managing your cabins or get a small bit of story as a reward.

The quests are fine, but as you do more and more of them, they become a repetitive slush with inadequate payoff for the slightly boring work. And this is the story of the game: a decent experience with a charming concept that deteriorates badly due to repetition.

Early on, balancing the points and your aesthetic preferences is kind of fun. The room rating system tightly constrains your creativity, but despite the lack of diverse furniture options, you can make it look nice. As the game drags on though, you’re asked to build a new bed and breakfast several times. You end up creating so many bedrooms that it’s hard to care enough to make them look nice, and when you realize you don’t even have to put things in sensible places, you just cover the floor with high-scoring items.

To furnish your cabins, you must craft. In order to craft, you need to scavenge items from the environment. To do this, you walk to an item marked on your map and press the interact button twice. It’s a mediocre mechanic in the first place, but you do this thousands of times throughout the game and it becomes monotonous, especially when you need to find one specific ingredient.

Once you have your ingredients and a recipe earned through quests, you go to a crafting table. The game’s inventory system requires you to carry every item you want to craft with in your backpack, which gets incredibly cramped in the late game. Trying to make space to carry enough items to upgrade your bedrooms is a chore, and some interface problems compound the annoyance.

The story gestures at a lot of different things but doesn’t pay them off well. The writing is funny but too verbose for its own good, and Hank doesn’t really feel like a bear in any meaningful way. I cared about Hank and his friends, but not enough to keep playing. The art is cute but only has the bare necessities and lacks sustained charm throughout the game.

I had real fun with Bear and Breakfast, but as I continued playing, the small inadequacies of the gameplay and story compounded until I wasn’t enjoying myself anymore, despite the cute concept. If you like questing and don’t mind a bit of monotony in the management sections, you could have some real fun with this game. Otherwise, I can’t recommend it.

Bear and Breakfast releases July 28 on PC for $19.99, with a Nintendo Switch release and controller support for PC coming later this year.

Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Bear and Breakfast.

You may also like