Remember Maya the Bee? Bee Simulator is cut from a different cloth.
Developed as a partnership between beekeepers and Yann Arthus-Berthrand’s Good Planet Foundation, this game offers a glimpse of the life lived by a bee lost in a garden that looks a lot like Central Park.
It’s great to look at, non-violent, and determinedly educational.
On the agenda today in your life as a pollinating insect... gathering pollen, of course! But instead of wasting time going from flower to flower like a real bee, you need to flutter through coloured circles, some of which are rarer and more valuable than others. The harvest will increase your pollen meter, as well as your boost bar, until you’re ready to head back to the hive. But the gameplay doesn’t stop there. You’ll also need to find a new location for your wild hive, far from human interference. This exploration will earn you experience points, unlocking other kinds of bees you can play as.
The game adds in challenges to spice things up, like communicating with another bee by copying its movements, turn-based combat against wasps and hornets, racing against your sister bees, or persuading flies to follow you...
There’s no sting in playing as a bee: Bee Simulator is first and foremost a great educational game. Throughout the main story, the game designers have slipped in information and stories about the life of bees, as well as the threats they face.
By the time you finish the game, you’ll know all there is to know about honey, different flowers, bee communication, the queen, the hive, and the key role that this little insect plays in protecting life on Earth. And don’t be put off: the gameplay is really fun and the backgrounds gorgeous, and you even get to sting... people, animals, and balloons that you pop with your sting. The humans in the game react to your presence with solid voice-acting.
The great news is that it’s also multiplayer, for fun with the whole family aged 8+. Not to mention free mode in single-player, which is a great way to relax.