Game Reviews

Bushido Bear - A bit polarizing

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| Bushido Bear
Bushido Bear - A bit polarizing
| Bushido Bear

If you believe the cartoons then bears get stuck in pots of honey, have marmalade tangled up in their beards, and carry half a supermarket around in picnic baskets.

They definitely don't know Bushido or any other martial art. Until now, that is.

Spry Fox has moved on from Triple Town to give us this charming little swipey, samurai-slicer which merits mostly positive results.

The Bare Necessities

You take a team of three bears out onto hallowed, sacred ground and must defend it from a variety of creepy crawlies and salty demons.

The bear will die if it touches any enemy, so you have to trace your finger to skirt around them while slashing out with your bushido blade.

The game is wave-based, so the aim is to survive as long as possible, gaining the highest score you can.

To begin with you'll only have access to one level. In order to unlock further stages you have to fulfil the criteria set out by the three daily quests. These range from reaching level 10 in a wave, to killing a certain amount of enemy types.

You'll also be able to unlock different bears as you go along, and eventually you'll have to decide which ones to take into battle with you.

Each bear has a defining attribute - like big swords or more damage resistance - and also special abilities they bring into battle. These abilities can be upgraded in the Dojo using coins collected from battle, or purchased from the in-game store.

Bears also have a Final Attack which is activated when the bear fulfils certain conditions in combat, such as hitting two enemies with the same strike.

The touch-gestures are generally solid. You tap the screen, and the bear responds to your action precisely. You swipe to attack, and the bear follows the intended path obediently.

But it's all too easy to pull down any notifications or interrupt the action during play as the game is so fast-paced.

It's important to make full use of the environment in order to survive, and regular pop-ups definitely don't make that easy.

Paws for thought

Bushido Bear mostly works really well, though. You can spend your money wisely to upgrade your bears, or gamble it at the Shrine and receive a variety of different things, including new custom colours and bear-pieces to unlock new furry friends.

The in-game advertising system is also quite fair. If two bears die, you'll have to watch an ad to bring in the third for final vengeance. Also, you can watch an ad in order to earn free gifts at random points.

Alternatively, you can pay a premium to remove them entirely.

You can even customise the colour of your swipes to have firework trails, hearts, tie dye streaks, and rainbows.

Longevity is the main issue as there are only three environments, and you have to put a fair amount of work in to unlock the other two. Sharp difficulty spikes, external distractions, and a limited range of modes may stop you from ever reaching that point though.

But there is a surprisingly deep and addictive game here, one you might find yourself playing longer than you might expect.

Bushido Bear - A bit polarizing

Bushido Bear is a fair and generally well-balanced game with unexpected appeal, yet it lacks that little something extra to keep you playing
Ray Willmott
Ray Willmott
When not objecting to witnesses in Phoenix Wright or gushing over Monkey Island, Ray does social things for Steel Media. He also pretends to look like Han Solo in his profile picture.