PAX East 2017 - Super Rude Bear Resurrection Preview

While at PAX East this past weekend, I had a little bird in my ear telling me (and others) to seek out and play Super Rude Bear Resurrection. Amy Gilroy had played it at EGX last year and couldn’t get enough of it. So, I did a quick Google search of the game to track down the developer Alex Rose and give it a shot. I definitely didn’t know what to expect until I arrived.

Upon arriving, the game immediately revealed itself as a brutal platformer in the spirit of a game like Super Meat Boy. Expect to die a lot. Instead of playing as a glob of meat, you embody a bear in a pink cap. An extra hook to this game (compared to Super Meat Boy) is that every time you die, your corpse is left behind. This clever idea means that, while you can get through each level without dying (if you're a crazy person), each death actually has the potential to make the game easier. Die from falling on some spikes? The next time through, you’ll be able to jump on the dead bear left behind instead of the spikes. Certain spikes hanging mid-air might normally require a long jump over them. Or you might be able to die on them, causing them to disappear and create an alternate path.

This mechanic makes the game for me honestly. As someone who got so stressed out and only played through the first area of Super Meat Boy, I was initially terrified of this title. But as I started discovering the rules and ways to exploit my repeated deaths. I would slowly make my way through each level thanks to a generous enough checkpoint system. As I would reach the level end screen, I would watch as the bodies would pile up showing just how many times I had died. But like Super Meat Boy or Hotline Miami, you’re not punished upon each death with a long load time. You get thrown right back into the action.

With each level I would complete, Alex would torture me by throwing me into a later, more difficult world, many of which featured new obstacles to overcome. In one particular world, heat-seeking missiles would follow after me as I progressed. But any deaths on this level left behind a frozen ice cube suspended where the death had occurred. If positioned appropriately, I could die right at the missile’s cannon and it would be trapped behind the bear-sicle. However, if I died in the wrong spot, it might impede my own path through by being in the way. Fortunately, you also have the power to remove any corpses currently on screen (or in the level) by pushing (or holding) another button.

Eventually, I felt I had my fill of experiencing the game first hand so Alex took over himself to play through some late game levels and really show off what the game looks like when played by a pro/speed-runner. This is a game that will be all about learning optimal routes, which walls to jump off of, perhaps even carefully timed and placed deaths. As I enjoyed the frenetic pace of his play, I was also able to really start enjoying the game’s soundtrack: a flurry of energetic grime/electronic music from Manchester-based producer Deeco, whom Alex expressed great affinity for and loved working with on the game.

Aiming for a May console release, Super Rude Bear Resurrection is definitely worth keeping an eye on. The game will absolutely kick your ass. But it will also feel really good when it does.