Have you tried… Bear and Breakfast, the adorable management simulation where you play as a hotel-owning bear?


You know you’re a good customer if your guests greet you with a nod and a smile. They may not always say hello, but there is always a tip when they see you walking around the hotel grounds. You know you’re a particularly great patron if they do all of this despite the fact that you are also a rather large brown bear.

Now, the usual advice if you see a bear in the woods is to do something like…run away. But that’s not the case when said bear happens to be Hank, a particularly cuddly guy who may be a bear, but also has a range of thriving bed and breakfasts spread around the area. They may have already shunned his giant paws and accompanying claws, but now word has spread through the valley that he’s making nasty French onion soup and his handmade beds Cozy Butterscotch are incredibly comfortable.

The bear and the shark

Bear and breakfast

(Image credit: Gummy Cat)

Before Hank encountered an inflatable shark, the Valley had all but been abandoned by humans. While a few have remained to obscure the local flora and fauna, there are references to a mysterious fire being the cause of the valley’s tourist decline. What was once a thriving place where people could have fun and get away from it all has been left derelict. But, thanks to Hank and a few buddies, you can work to bring people back to the Valley, one vacation destination at a time.

Oddly enough, the regeneration effort actually involves the inflatable shark. In what looks like a dodgy scheme that will eventually bite Hank on the butt, you’ll work together to revitalize each location one step at a time. The first is a rustic number, with small rooms and few amenities beyond an outdoor toilet shack you can restore, but it’s a good place to get a feel for the building mechanics and customization. Before you start building a room, you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary items, such as a bed for a bedroom or a shower, sink, and toilet for a bathroom. It seems a bit confusing at first, but soon you’ll have pockets full of all sorts of stuff made from the crafting materials you collect, ready to go.

Bear and breakfast

(Image credit: Gummy Cat)

It’s not as intense as Stardew Valley or other sims in that sense, as crafting materials are just bits and pieces you’ll find around the valley – piles of wood near trees, metal and broken nails, stone near the mountains, etc. Later, you’ll need to provide food for your guests, and even those ingredients can be scavenged from pre-sown gardens and plants. This means that once you’ve collected all the available materials, the days can sometimes feel a little too empty. There’s not much you can do without having the means to earn more money or collect more valuable items – i.e. junk – which you can exchange for decorative raccoon items from the dumpster, Took. The Valley also unlocks gradually, making the early hours of the game even more limited.

The minimum of bears

Bear and breakfast

(Image credit: Gummy Cat)

However, the more locations you add to your hotel empire, the busier you become, as the majority of your time will be spent keeping your guests happy. Each guest request that comes in will require certain criteria to be met. Initially, it’s comfort and decor, which can be enhanced by adding more furniture and additional details like rugs, lights, ornaments, and artwork. But as you expand to ski lodges and motels, you’ll also need to consider warmth and hygiene, as well as requests for specific amenities. Matching the right guest with the right room in the right location is essentially a numbers game, but a perfect match will mean a better rating as well as more money in your pocket to reinvest in improving each location. It’s a delightful gameplay loop that rewards every new addition you make to a location. A new carpet here and an upgraded bed there will mean your hotel’s overall score will also increase, attracting a wider range of guests and requirements to satisfy.

Bear and breakfast

(Image credit: Gummy Cat)

Once you’ve ticked all of the shark boxes for each location in the main storyline, you’ll also have other sub-objectives to complete if you wish. Doing this is pretty awesome just because of the perks they also unlock, and it’s not just the cute little tee and shorts combo you can unlock for Hank. These rewards make it easier to manage your growing empire, from being able to craft at the builder’s table to other things like improving your walking speed or expanding your backpack.

Additionally, there are also plenty of weird and quirky creatures to encounter in the valley. They may not be crucial to the overall story of the game, but they will provide you with side quests that give you a few extra things to occupy your time. It all adds up to make Bear and Breakfast a brilliantly compact management sim. It won’t completely consume your free time, but it’s delicious from start to finish. Its crisp, clean, cartoonish graphics make it an extremely satisfying world to exist in for around 15-20 hours, and the writing is consistently brilliant. Who would have thought that a bear could make such a good B&B owner?

Bear and Breakfast is out now on PC, with a Nintendo Switch version coming in the near future.

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