Ever wondered what running a B&B as a bear feels like? I’ve lost count of the amount of times the thought has crossed my mind, but now I no longer need to ponder. Gummy Cat has released Bear and Breakfast, a cute management sim that sees you take on the role of a bear, clearing up derelict buildings and turning them into viable businesses for humans to return to the world, stay in your bed and breakfasts, and reward you for all your hard work. It’s not a complex process, and the structure of it often feels restrictive, but the art style and charm helps to ease the frustrations.
You play as Hank, a bear who can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. Woken by his mother after a bad dream, you’re then tasked with meeting your buddies and setting off on a journey to repair abandoned buildings, finding various resources across the environment, and using them to craft furniture and decor to make quaint little B&Bs in an attempt to bring humans back to where they once abandoned. It takes a while for Bear and Breakfast to pick up, especially as the dialogue is constant, albeit occasionally funny. There’s also a lot of back and forth between quest-givers and completing the menial quests. Go here, find this, and build.
The actual building in Bear and Breakfast is straightforward enough, but you feel limited in how you do so. Resources are everywhere, so it’s not like you’re ever stuck to find what you need, be it wood, metals, or other basic materials. You’ll build a workbench, use it to craft via blueprints found or given, then put them in your B&Bs. You can’t reshape buildings or make them bigger, but after progressing, you can’t go back and add bathrooms or other fancy rooms. Most of it is locked to a certain area, and the repetition of waiting for guests to come and stay, write their reviews, and then move on becomes a little dreary.
In order to make your B&Bs more appealing, you’ll need to fill them up with various plants or decorative items. You find junk scattered around the map, which you then hand to a raccoon at a dumpster (not dodgy at all!) who will let you trade for them. Then, it’s back to the workbench to place these items in your rooms to give them some appeal that humans will appreciate when they stay. As you progress, new areas will allow for fancier establishments, but the same principles lay at the heart of what you do. Bring guests in, wait for them to enjoy their stay, then move onto the next one.
The art style is one of Bear and Breakfast’s most positive features. It feels like a cartoon in the same vein as We Bare Bears (a genuinely fantastic show) with its humor and heart. Although the dialogue becomes predictable and wrapped up in the repetitive joke of you being a bear and the hilarity of running bed and breakfasts, it’s still sweet. Most of the supporting cast are likeable, but it’s Hank that steals the show with his kind heart and cuteness.
The repetition does start to wain as you find new room types as well as new mechanics like the ability to cook, but it’s the quest structure I grew tired of. Everything is locked to completing quests, and I wish there was more of a sense of freedom when exploring or building bed and breakfasts. Many of the locations are locked off until you’ve finished certain tasks, so it would have been nice if I didn’t feel so restricted, especially in the earlier stages.
Bear and Breakfast is a sweet and straightforward management sim that opts for a laidback approach rather than an intense and stressful experience. Hank is a loveable bear who just wants to make his guests happy, and the narrative leaves crumbs throughout to give you an idea of why humans decided to once abandon the world you find yourself in. It isn’t the most thrilling game, and there’re times when it gets a tad repetitive and laborious. However, there’s enough to keep you playing as long as you’re not expecting a deep and engrossing B&B builder.