The Brave Polar Bears

Player Rating4.83/8

"Too few ratings to be ranked"
based on 21 ratings since 02/10/2020
played 72 times (finished 8)

Story Difficulty5/8

"run through the jungle"

Play Length5/8

"Not going to lose any sleep"

Maturity Level6/8

"I'll need to see some identification"
Some material may be inappropriate for persons under age 16. If this were a movie, it would probably between PG-13 and R.
Play as Kuma, an adolescent polar bear. When a fox steals your food, how will you respond? With vengeance? Forgiveness?

Player Comments

I was at first turned off by the premise, not really enjoying animal protagonists in storygames, but, as Mizal noted, the first choice is whether to rip the face off a fox, which is "pretty metal." So I went in with a good attitude, and I was rewarded for it with a way better game than I expected.

At first, I experimented with being a kind polar bear who doesn't tear faces off, and I was impressed that the game lets you try this. I was a little bugged by the fact that this path doesn't end anywhere good, channeling the player into the cave (even if you don't want to go to the cave) and encountering zombie-bear.

The real plot lies in the other direction, towards dealing with animal diplomacy. One of the key decisions is whether to eat the wolf meat or not, which changes things down the line, plot wise. I did think the reasons for *why* that decision was so pivotal might have been explored and explained a little more, and I felt really constricted at this point. Some of the choices seemed rather important, but didn't feel as if they did anything (stand guard or run at the fishing hole).

My major gripe was the "refuse the meat" path which leads to a really constricted decision about Charlie--I can "let Charlie go in peace" or "not attack them and defend them from predators." But no choice to agree with Orson and attack Charlie. This leads to a choice that is essentially "Yes" or "Hell Yes."

It's even weirder, because on the "eat the meat" path, you *do* get the option to take Charlie hostage. I get why this is, narratively--because then you get the cool "something else might be behind the sickness" dilemma--but it feels like something is missing from the "refuse the meat" path to not have one of the most obvious responses. Especially since you can only *get* here if you have already clawed the fox's face off, and therefore are clearly willing to use force to solve problems.

That's my one serious issue. The writing was well done, and the characters' dialogue was handled smoothly.

I did think that some of the NPCs might have been distinguished more in language and tone (could a seal talk differently from a bear and from a wolf?--I'd love to hear that?) The endings along the war and spy paths in particular were fun and varied. An enjoyable game that I hope the author fleshes out just a little more.
-- Gower on 1/7/2020 7:34:30 AM with a score of 0
Writing, spelling, premise, characters - it's all great, especially since this story is from the perspective of an anthropomorphic polar bear by the name of Kumu.

It's the branching and the endings where I think it starts to lose some steam. You can't choose to be a full pacifist, as any road that leaves a fox alive ends with you being assimilated to some Lovecraftian horror monster. Maybe if it was fleshed out a bit more, or at the very least you could get back to your home.
Another problem I had with this is some of the choices. As stated in the another comment, you can only choose to kill Charlie if you eat the (very) suspicious meat.

Maybe if it was a bit longer, you could have expanded on some of those a bit more. I would like to know more about the world building: do humans still exist? if so, how do wild animals feel about zoo animals? I'll admit, the animal diplomacy and alliances were enjoyable.

Ultimately giving this a 5. Nice work!
-- snailsforsale on 2/11/2020 7:16:51 PM with a score of 0
Very well written, humorous, entertaining, good usage of words, and very few grammatical errors.i give 6/8
-- WiseGirl on 1/9/2020 2:00:21 PM with a score of 0
*spoilers and all that jazz*
I liked it! Also I know the Sir Bearington reference so that got a nice puzzled laugh since I was not expecting it. It had a nice tension built up in some places. I honestly expected the bear horror in the cave to be an illness with the wolves that would affect the bears that ate it, but if that's a route I missed it. The feeling of the game was excellent. I always felt drawn in even in the slow moments.
I wish it was longer! I enjoyed the read.
-- bilbo on 1/5/2020 8:32:38 PM with a score of 0
This was a fun story. An enjoyable animal protagonist story isn't the easiest feat.
-- Bucky on 1/5/2020 4:22:29 PM with a score of 0
The world-building is excellent, the factions are cute and realistic. The Malygos tale is charming and cool. My problem is that the choices are really limited in scope and the protagonist has no personality or really a goal. I felt the railroad towards many choices. Still, a great story for a month deadline.
-- poison_mara on 1/5/2020 7:41:57 AM with a score of 0
Anthropomorphism isn't usually an easy thing to incorporate into stories that also involve death-sentencing councils and food scarcity disputes, and for me, it was well written but never really sucked me in. Well, not for a while, anyways.

SPOILERS:

Eventually my tribe of polar bears came to a point where they had to wage war on a coalition of seals and walruses. Naturally, to gain the advantage, I'm spying on these fools.

In comes the knighted brown bear himself.

Well, not exactly. He's a bit... odd looking... and he kills you. I was intrigued, but also a bit saddened cause I couldn't find any more information about him

Until... I did. In a completely separate path towards the beginning where your character decides to sleep in a cave. Running into this section after the ending where he murders you outright is fun. Needless to say, this story is at its best when it's being a bit bizarre.

My biggest complaint would probably be the constant feeling like my character is pigeonholed into certain decisions, which happens in a lot of good stories. 5/8
-- TheChef on 1/4/2020 2:01:03 PM with a score of 0
very original and interesting
-- anonymous on 1/4/2020 10:56:13 AM with a score of 0
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