Scare Bear: Finding Teddy Looks Like Limbo Meets Fez

By Nathan Grayson on August 13th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE

Even as a (virtual) war-hardened, (often wrist-cramp-related) hardship-enduring Journalist, I sometimes can’t resist yodeling “Oooooo, pretty!” when I lay eyes upon particularly lush games. So it was with Finding Teddy. The invitingly colorful point-and-click adventure lured me in with adorable characters, an appealingly angular bent to its aesthetic, and a world that just screamed whimsy. Then a giant, very clearly unshaven spider leg reached out of our young heroine’s closet and plucked her teddy bear into some nightmare land of unspeakable terrors. “NOPE,” I bellowed. “NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.” But despite the protests of a violently arachnophobic, er, myself, I continued watching.

I can definitely see a bit of Fez in the art’s colors, characters, and weird obsession with trees that don’t work like normal trees, but the surprising acts of violence perpetrated against a child are all Limbo. No silhouette-shrouded decapitations, thankfully, but yikes, the bit with the drill was a syringe of cringe. Not sure how I feel about that. As ever, it’ll come down to whether or not the game has a good, compelling reason to put a child in those sorts of situations, but it’s a fine line to walk.

Gameplay-wise, Finding Teddy sounds more traditional than either of its apparent inspirations. There are plenty of items to find and brain bone ticklers to solve, so adventuring’s most well worn of staples are definitely in. There are, however, some definite intrigues to be found as well: for instance, copious musical puzzles/interactions, a total lack of dialogue, a nice range of locations rooted in both the gloriously natural and the oppressively macabre, and two side characters who explore locations the not-so-lucky little girl can’t.

Finding Teddy is still an adventure at heart, but it looks to have atmosphere and personality in spades. I’ll hold off on getting too exciting until I can play something (especially since I just learned that an earlier version of the game originated on iOS; strange that the Steam page doesn’t mention that at all), but I at least like what I’m seeing and hearing. Well, aside from the gut-pureeing drill monsters. And the closet-dwelling spider limbs. And probably a thousand other fun-sized grotesqueries I don’t know about yet.

It’ll be out sometime next month.

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8 Comments »

  1. pupsikaso says:

    Could someone explain to me what is the fascination with games like these about childhood nightmares?

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Fear of the past and fear of the dark. The two seem to be linked in a lot of ways in literature and culture http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/fear-of-the-dark_n_1840014.html our own past is our childhood, during which, for most of us, our imaginations were hyper-active and we were most likely to be afraid at night-time. And to most of us as adults our childhood memories often seem so distant as to be from a dream, and vague like an object in the dark. Also, most of us feel protective towards children so a story about childhood nightmares, or where a child is in danger, is bound to be evocative. I’m not an expert but I’d be surprised if there isn’t a paper or two on the subject of children as protagonists in horror stories.

  2. Noviere says:

    I love the art style.

  3. realmenhuntinpacks says:

    Eesh. Loved Limbo and I’m no overly sentimental humanlet-spawner but not sure I could happily play it, what with the child-drilling and what-have-you. Maybe I’m getting old.

  4. Chizu says:

    >an earlier version of the game originated on iOS; strange that the Steam page doesn’t mention that at all

    Probably because there are some people who for whatever reason instantly downvote games they know are tablet/iphone releases. And then cry about how they don’t want shitty iphone games on steam in the comments. Quality of said game not mattering at all.

  5. Orageon says:

    The cat and small flying thing companions remind me of Chihiro (Spirited Away) from Ghibli. The games looks tempting too. Which reminds me I still haven’t completed SuperbrotherSword & Sorcery…

  6. Miresnare says:

    I played on Android. It’s got a lovely art style, but the puzzles are “Note matching” and pretty illogical IMHO.

    I gave up at the final boss “fight” as I couldn’t make head not tail of it.