Bear and Breakfast Review: Half Baked Breakfast
Updated: Jul 7
Bear and Breakfast
Bear and Breakfast is a game about running a bunch of cabins in the wood while being a bear. There's really very little significance to you being a bear, though, and, unfortunately, it is far from the only idea that wasn't fully developed. B&B starts off with a promising loop of repairing buildings, decorating them, and leasing them out to guests to make money. It then never figures out any way to build on that basic loop except by making it more time consuming and less fun.
Your first guests in the most basic cabin only care about the room's comfort and decoration scores, which can be raised by spamming the room with random crap until it's barely possibly to walk through it. The second area introduces bathrooms, which for some reason only support rooms within a tiny radius and can only have one toilet. That's annoying, but the third and fourth area's introduction of cooking and heating requirements that have to be constantly replenished are what really sinks it. Making food is difficult because the recipe organization is horrible, there's no indication of what food requires what ingredients without opening the recipe, and guests will eat through your cooked food absurdly quickly. Many ingredients can only be purchased for high prices from a shop that's located almost as far as it possibly could have been from some of the kitchens, and since most recipes provide only a small fraction of the food score that guests want, you'd have to either make that trip a lot or spend ages scouring the woods for wild ingredients to make enough dishes to satisfy them. Heating requirements are even less interesting: you put fuel resources in a box and they are rapidly burned up. You don't even get an indicator of whether you're making it hot enough until you've completed an optional quest. Oh, and the game is absolutely full of things that take multiple days to complete, but provides no way of passing time beyond being able to sleep through the night. My last hour of gameplay was spent almost entirely tabbed out while the game played itself.
What's worse is that none of this even really matters. It doesn't cost any money to run your resort by yourself once you've built all the rooms, so there's no harm in just booking guests to rooms that don't meet any of their needs and accepting a greatly reduced fee. I made enough money from the first two cabins that construction costs were entirely meaningless for the rest of the game anyway, so I certainly didn't care if guests weren't happy with the cabin full of closet bedrooms I built for them. Guest reviews don't seem to matter outside of some optional quests that task you with getting a certain number of five star reviews.
And speaking of quests that ask you to do a certain thing a bunch of times, that's most of them. The game is absolutely chock full of quests like "complete 10 guest stays in this area" or "build three level 2 bedrooms in this other area." Since there's no way of speeding up time, the former quest means just standing around with the game tabbed out if it's all you have to do. The other quest at least lets you complete it as quickly as you want, but it doesn't account for the possibility that you might not need or even be able to construct those bathrooms. Since your quest tracker can overflow the screen if you have more than they left space for, it's actually pretty annoying to get one you can't currently complete. Quests that are not in these categories almost universally involve walking somewhere and picking something up off the ground, and the game loves to make the object as far as possible from the quest start location.
Still, it isn't all bad. It starts off very promisingly thanks to decent writing and a construction system that could have been fun if it wasn't just an endless resource sink. The characters could have carried the game if you spent more of your time with them, but most are quickly dropped once they've served their purpose of introducing some new crap you need to build.
I really do think that the fundamentals of a good game are here. There's nothing inherently wrong with the construction system, but having to scavenge resources adds absolutely nothing. My "fixed" version of the core systems would look something like this: Multiple types of guests and guest parties that need different things from their rooms, combined with a room decoration system that accounts for different objects instead of rewarding rooms that contain 30 lamps and a bed. Resources that cost money instead of being scavenged, which would both make money meaningful and remove most of the grind. Customizable pricing and other business tools so that you're doing more than accepting reservations and hoping for the best. In short: make it a real management game with depth. Instead, we don't have any of that. It feels like the first draft of that better game that's somehow been infected with loads of mobile-inspired time wasting. What possible purpose does waiting 15 real seconds for my food serve in this single player, paid game?
In the end, Bear and Breakfast followed a similar arc to Two Point Campus, which is currently the lowest scored game of the 27 I've reviewed on this site. B&B suffers from all the same issues of low difficulty, shallow systems, and tedious, time wasting objective design. It worked okay as a podcast game for a few hours, but even then there are hundreds of better options. I can't recommend this to anyone. If you want something this shallow and disrespectful of your time, at least get it for free on your phone.
Time to beat: I gave up after 10 hours. Seeing the credits would likely take 5-10 hours longer.
MSRP: Too much
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