Experience a not-so-ordinary day in the life of a bee.
Bee Movie Game is a title based on Jerry Seinfeld and Dreamworks' 3D animated film, Bee Movie. There is a shortage of honey, and a bee by the name of Barry B. Benson finds out that the shortage is due to humans taking it. Barry travels from his home in New Hive City to New York City in an attempt to negotiate with the humans. While the gameplay isn’t very deep, the game is filled with hilarious moments corresponding to events in the movie. New Hive City acts as the main hub from which various tasks and story modes can be accessed. Each major event of the movie is represented as a mini-game, and there are a variety of controls associated with each mini-game.
Several of the events involve quickly motioning with the Wii Remote in a direction specified on-screen in order to avoid an incoming obstacle. For example, this is the primary method of play in the “truck chase" scene, in which Barry must fly through city traffic while avoiding being smashed onto a windshield. A similar scene has Barry stuck to a tennis ball in the middle of a tennis match. Again, players must motion to avoid getting smashed by a tennis racket. Besides simply avoiding obstacles, the game sometimes asks players to quickly shoot on-screen targets. The sense of flying is portrayed pretty well, though the motion controlled obstacle avoidance is gesture-based rather than performed in real-time, which kills some of the immersion.
In another scene, Barry is stuck outside during a rainstorm. Getting hit by rain damages Barry, and as you can imagine, it’s pretty impossible to dodge raindrops in a rainstorm. Barry has the ability to speed his perception, which in effect slows down time much like bullet time in The Matrix, but only for a limited time. During this time, Barry must quickly navigate to a safe area lest he drown. Wind currents allow Barry to quickly travel from one destination to the next.
One amusing section has players buzzing in humans' faces to cause them to start swatting. While avoiding the sways, players can lock onto the human target and shoot it. Once agitated enough, the human characters will attempt to attack Barry but will miss and instead smash one of the other humans. The game includes more free-roaming areas as well, where Barry must collect pollen from flowers, like a real bee. That is, if a real bee would then use the collected pollen to shoot down enemy insects.
Bee Movie Game includes several multiplayer mini-games. In the shooting gallery, players must shoot green targets while avoiding red targets. Players compete to clear the most targets. In another mode, players race through a small maze while being shot at. The primary goal here is to reach the exit first, with a secondary goal of obtaining the most points along the way. The ever-popular kart-style racing mini-game is also included. The game also includes several unlockables such as a retro arcade with simple 2-D sprite gameplay. Spoofs of games such as Frogger and Space Invaders can be found here.
Due to the lack of graphical horsepower on the Wii, the developers chose to record cut scenes rendered on the Xbox 360 version and played back as movies rather than rendering the scenes directly. This causes a bit of delay between scenes due to the load times, and the difference in graphical quality is rather drastic.
Each mini-game develops the movie’s sometimes serious, usually humorous story. Overall, Bee Movie Game features a wide variety of gameplay types that make full use of the Wii Remote’s capabilities, and the overall package is worth keeping an eye on.