Hands-On Preview – Bee Simulator

Bee Simulator (VARSAV Game Studios S.A. – PC) Release: November 14th 2019

Creating a buzz

Bee Simulator introduces you to the daily interactions and adventures that bees experience in their everyday life. From collecting pollen from flowers to fighting off wasps and defending your hive, you’ll learn what it takes to make it as a successful honey bee in the big wide world.

Starting off with an educational introduction, it’s clear that Bee Simulator is intended for a younger audience, interested in the natural world. Developer, VARSAV Game Studios, have chosen to omit serious violence in order to make this as child-friendly as possible while varying the gameplay throughout to keep players occupied. That said, if you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, you can always play on Hard mode.

Playing as the aptly named ‘Beescuit’, you’ll be unleashed into a super-sized version of a familiar world. While you’ll be engaging in fun activities such as eating human sweets, fighting other insects, and sniffing out tasty pollen, the world around you also feels surprisingly realistic. Inspired by Central Park in New York, you’ll be able to interact with other animals and insects, humans and plants as you learn more about the average bee’s life and how integral they are to keeping our world ticking over nicely. It’s here that you’ll also learn how much of a threat humans are to the bee species.

Bee Simulator features three modes: a single-player story, exploration and a split-screen mode that enables you to either work cooperatively with a friend, or go head-to-head competitively. Having played through some of the story mode, we were impressed to see elements from a number of different genres very early on. Chasing other bees will have you zooming through rings to keep up using your ‘Beetro’ speed boost ability. You may also find yourself confronted by an unfriendly wasp, in which case you’ll have to engage in a rhythmic battle to defeat it. Tapping buttons at the correct moment will power up your bee for an attack and consecutive successful attacks will deplete the enemies’ health.

Don’t worry, bee happy

As you’d expect of a bee, you’ll have to collect pollen and deliver it back to the hive in order to produce honey. Touching flowers surrounded by golden orbs will enable you to retrieve pollen. On some occasions you may also be required to collect specific flowers for their individual properties. Each colour of flower depicts its rarity, with purple flowers being the most valuable and white flowers being the most common. While searching for flowers, you’ll be able to activate Bee Vision, making it easier to search for the rarer flowers to maximise your time away from the hive. Filling your individual honey pot doesn’t take too long, so you’ll have to make regular trips back to the hive to drop off. The game mentions that bees can have different jobs including Scouts and Guards. Scouts are tasked with objectives such as searching for a new location for a hive whereas, guards act as security.

There is plenty to do in the world, with various types of challenges available, depending on the kind of activities you prefer. Knowledge points can be earned by completing challenges that you’ll come across while completing the main quest. Similarly to the flowers, these challenges are categorised by colours with blue signalling the opportunity for your bee to race, pink representing a dance, green for gathering pollen, orange for stinging bullies and red for fighting. Discovering new animals will also add them to your glossary and reward you with a few bonus points.

Bee Simulator is a chirpy little title, balancing educational tidbits with a relaxing vibe. Seeing the world from a bee’s perspective makes for an interesting experience, highlighting issues that you may not have considered before. Crawling around on top of delicious cakes and trying to sting people is also pretty fun!

Bee Simulator is available on PCPlayStation 4Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The PC version of the game is currently available through the Epic Games Store, with a later launch on Steam scheduled for the end of 2020.