Title: Where The Bees Make Honey
Developer: Wakefield Interactive
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Genre: Adventure, Story, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 17/10/19
Price: £7.99 – Rapid Reviews were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
I’m not entirely sure how to introduce Where The Bees Make Honey; I really loved the look and feel you got from the trailer and there’s certainly a fair few different gameplay elements that feature here. You play as Sunny who is navigating the stormy waters of adult life. She longs to live out her childhood dreams and be that carefree again; here’s when you, the player, steps in.
You will play through different scenes of Sunny’s life as a child. Very brief scenes, but scenes none the less. None of them really equate to giving you a meaningful conclusion at the end though which is one of the problems I found once I’d finished the story. At some points, you’ll be playing from a first-person viewpoint and others its an isometric 3D puzzler, they even throw in some top-down and side-scrolling elements! So it’s nothing if not varied. This is kind of where the fun stops.
It feels very promising at the beginning and the way the story is told is very sweet but the presentation is pretty slapdash. It looks glitchy and the environments are barren in terms of texture. The physical element of controlling your character and moving between varying elevations across the isometric puzzle sections can be infuriating as well. Sometimes Sunny will walk through a wall, a platform or underneath parts of the environment she shouldn’t be able to. The only action she can perform is a small jump and this rarely comes in handy outside of the puzzle sections.
As I said there are different forms of gameplay in Where The Bees Make Honey. In the 3D environments, you’re usually just walking from one end of the screen to the other whilst Sunny gives you some of her innermost thoughts. If you’ve played What Remains of Edith Finch (look it up if you’ve not – it’s something special) then it feels somewhat familiar and presents the story in a similar way. Just on a much smaller budget. Then the isometrics puzzle sections have you collecting three small honeycomb pieces, by rotating the camera it will change your perspective and some of the environmental features. For example, a platform may rise or fall or an entrance may become open or sealed. That sort of thing. These are probably the better parts of the game but are let down by clunky physics, unfortunately.
Then there’s the incredibly small run time, it’ll take you no more than an hour and a half to get through the game and it feels way too short. I’m not usually one to bring it up but when the rest of it lets you down every step of the way, I was hoping for one saving grace. But unfortunately not. You’ll be done before you know it. With no real conclusion as to what the memories mean or when you wander through a very abstract section playing as a small brown rabbit in a field. I just felt like there could have been more they did with it and the execution could have been a lot better given the style that Wakefield Interactive has gone with. It’s like the “hipster” genre of gaming but done badly.
There really isn’t any reason to pick up this game. An abstract, narrative adventure with no conclusion, dull environments and stagnant gameplay. Avoid this at all costs.