“A collection of playable vignettes about feeling awkward and being anxious that interlock to tell an abstract story, played with a mouse.”
For some people, even asking for a pen at the library or just doing small talk with a work colleague is hard. They feel pressure and anxiety in such everyday situations, which makes it difficult for them to find new friends. The protagonist of “Just, Bearly” has exactly this common problem. In a series of mini games his story gets told in a very lovely, empathic way.
For me, the combination of sketches as well as drawings as foreground and real photographs as background images works extremely well in this context. It feels like the character designs invite the player to personally identify with them, while in contrast the photography shows that this happens for many people in the real world.
“Just, Bearly” has many funny, awkward and even sad moments, though it overall delivers a strong message: It is okay to feel that way, you are not alone in this. And maybe you can find the one special person in the world that understands you, even when you talk gibberish from time to time.