Bear’s Restaurant (iPhone)

When Cat finds herself in limbo with no memory of who she is, she finds work at Bear’s Restaurant.  Her job, to serve the customers at Bear’s Restaurant and make them their last meal before they go to the afterlife.  Can she help the customers find peace and get her memory back?

As you can see, this is a story about the afterlife.  I confess that I found this game by accident when I was searching for We Bare Bears games on my phone.  I’ll admit that I’m glad that I did because the storyline itself is intriguing.  You get to see how people died while helping them cope with the afterlife and the deaths can vary greatly.  It’s similar to the HBO series Six Feet Under only, instead of the living having to learn to cope with their dead loved ones, the dead have to cope with moving onto another life.  Meanwhile, you learn about the main characters and, without giving anything away, it’s a heartbreaking story.  However, the game fails to explore hidden depths with the customers.  Many of the people that visit the restaurant are just that, stereotypes.  You have one customer who is little more than an obese nerd who lives with his mother and plays video games all day, contributing nothing to the household.  There’s also another customer who spends all of her time on social media rejecting the world around her.  These two characters offer nothing outside of their one-dimensional personalities.  You don’t get even a small hint of a bad family life or feelings of inadequacy.  Another issue I have with the storyline is that all of the characters that die are from modern times.  As an agnostic, I am unsure if there is life after death but I believe that, if there was, it would exist outside of time.  Bear’s Restaurant could easily receive customers from Ancient Rome, the Civil War, or even have customers from the future.  I will admit that some of the customers do have heartwarming moments, such as an old man who wants to taste his mother’s omelet one last time.  Some of customers have their own stories, which can get so sad to the point where I felt choked up.

This was one of the saddest ones.

The game play is rather simple, with you directing Cat where to go.  I’ll admit that this can be rather strenuous on your finger.  So, you might want to take a break from the game every now and then.  You talk to people, serve them food and even dive into their memories to see what they want to eat. 

Looks like a nice restaurant. Too bad you have to die to go there.

After you serve them, you get a memory shard where you can view their final moments on the desk in your room.  Be sure to remember which final moments belong to which customer, because it will be important in the final parts of the story.  Sometimes, you can make dialogue choices in the game that, in all reality, doesn’t really affect the storyline that much.  In other words, the game play doesn’t really add much to the game as the focus is more on the story.

This game is intriguing and heartbreaking.  I give it 7 out of 10; an interesting premise but could use a little more polishing up.

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