Super Rude Bear Resurrection ReviewPrice:
Alex Rose Games
Alex Rose Games
The old adage of never judge a book by its cover should have an addendum, a special note for those that play games: Never judge a game by its opening 15 minutes.
It's an important rule, and it's relevant here because if you looked at the first few minutes of Super Rude Bear Resurrection, you might come away thinking the game is a stinker. The game's theme is terrible: Rude Bear is a perpetually grumpy bear from East London wearing a bright purple hat, travelling through disinteresting levels while grime plays in the background.
Push through the slightly exasperating theme on the surface of Super Rude Bear Resurrection, and you're shown the tight mechanics lurking just below. To speak plainly, it's a game about dying, a hard as nails platformer that actually gets easier with every death as your corpse stays where it falls, effectively nullifying the threat. At first, you'll use this to cross big spiky pits, with Rude Bear's lifeless corpse providing an impromptu platform. Later, your multitude of bodies will be used to create ramps, block axes, or shield your current body from a menagerie of things that'll seek to do you harm.
The hook is that every single death, whether by axe, spike, or icicle, makes the game easier. You'll respawn nearby, and in many cases your former, now lifeless, body will have neutralised the threat. This way, as you die the game gets easier.
It's a valuable change, because the difficulty is intense, a challenge comparable to Super Meat Boy, a game that Super Rude Bear Resurrection often tries to ape, lacking that game's sheer charm and clean platforming lines but making up for it with the interesting mechanics surrounding your death. Unlike Super Meat Boy, which kicked my ass for months, I've managed to make it a good chunk of the way through Super Rude Bear Resurrection just by clogging the level's deathtraps under the weight of my own corpses.
If it sounds bleak, the game doesn't lean into it all. For a game where your lead character is resurrected multiple times per level, it doesn't really toy with the concept, and the tone and narrative stays remarkably chirpy, at least as far as I've got into the game after a few hours of play. Not that that's particularly far, because I'm quite bad at it.