Genre: Platform Developer: Realtime Associates Publisher: Sega Enterprises Players: 1 Released: 1994
The Berenstain Bears was a classic children’s book series based on a family of lovable bears. I have fond memories of reading the books and watching the show as a kid, and when my cousins handed me down some games, the Genesis version of Camping Adventure was one of them. I always had lots of fun with it, so how does this version stack up to its sibling?
Remarkably well, I’m glad to say. This game eschews any fancy gimmicks or wild graphics in favor of old-fashioned and time-honored platforming. Jumping up hills and bouncing on critters is the order of the day. As far as platformers go, this is a simple one, but sometimes, a player is just in the mood for simple. It’s perfectly aimed at the target audience, but also has appeal for anyone looking for a relaxing platformer. The game looks very nice. The Genesis version was never a graphical powerhouse, and very little has been lost in translation besides the level backgrounds being reduced to solid colors and perhaps the loss of a few frames of animation. The music is nice, and sound effects are appropriate.
You’ll pick from either Brother or Sister Bear (there seems to be no difference between the two besides aesthetic) and set off on a camping adventure. There are three starting stages and one final, all taking place in different sections of the forest, from the treetops to the rivers to the caves. You can tackle the stages in any order before you unlock the final stage. The stages all consist of three acts and a boss fight. Each stage is nicely detailed and fairly large. The goal is to find the end post, but that doesn’t always mean heading straight left to right. The posts are not very hard to find usually, but the change-up is appreciated, as the levels usually aren’t straight shots.
There are lots of items to collect throughout the stages, and collecting certain numbers of them nets you access to special stages where you can collect even more items and replenish your health. But they’re really unnecessary, as the health system is very forgiving in this game, giving you many lives with several hearts each. Enemies are all fairly generic, but accurate to the woods setting: mostly bugs, worms, alligators, etc. A few enemies from the Genesis version are missing, such as the lynx and the ravens, but they are replaced with others, such as the porcupines and the snails. The boss patterns are easy to nail down and defeat.
Overall, this is a little slice of fun with a great amount of charm. As a game for the kids, the light-hearted fun and low barrier to entry make this one to check out. Berenstain Bears Camping Adventure plays quick and goes down easy, and while it may not have you coming back for more, any platforming fan should enjoy the time they spend with it.
SCORE: 7 out of 10