IF Comp ’16 – Xalavier Nelson’s SCREW YOU, BEAR DAD!

October 31, 2016

When I first read that this game existed I was super excited but then I saw a tweet that suggested it might cause me to have emotions, so I’ve been avoiding playing it, because all emotions besides “I am currently in a hammock” are pretty much terrible.

But then I was like, you know what, whatever, fuck it, I’ll just play the bear dad game. And that brings us to now.

[spoilers begin here]


Why would your fur be rippling?


This is already the best game. Sorry, Toiletworld.

Oh my gosh, this is the kind of story that starts with the protagonist plummeting towards certain death & then flashes back to explain how he got there. Classic television gambit. The volcano is a nice touch.

Oh jeez now Bear Dad is laying into me for changing my major like a damned millennial. This prompts actual me, Jenni the reviewer, to try and remember all of my college majors:

1) Please don’t make me go to college
2) Okay how about graphic design
3) Ha ha just kidding, liberal arts I guess?
4) Being hung over instead of going to class
5) Nail technician school for one week before freaking out about inability to be a nail technician
6) I am definitely going to be a medical transcriptionist wait no never mind
7) Liberal arts
8) Wait no Japanese
9) Interior design for sure!
10) Okay maybe I better just finish up this two-year liberal arts degree
11) Computer science, I should have been doing computer science this whole time

So already the words “screw you, Bear Dad” seem quite apt.

Bear Dad sighs heavily.

“Look. I’m not trying to get on your case.”

Yes you are.

“I can not bear the thought of you ending up like me.”

Oh. Jeez. Saddest bear dad joke ever.

Flashback is over; I have now killed a human being with my bulky bear body plus the trappings of gravity.

Speaking of blending in…



Meanwhile, the three surviving humans of this mysterious facility have decided to attack the bear problem (me) with drugs.

JONATHAN: Regardless, you know about the gallons of hallucinogenic tranquilizers stored beneath the facility, right?

Oh hey I bet I know where this is going, I the bear am going to do a shit ton of ayahuasca to help me deal with my complicated trauma feelings about having been raised by Bear Dad! It’s the only possible way this plot could shake down.

And now I’m in another flashback, this time a picnic when I was a bear kid.

You do realize that if you don’t follow these jerks, it won’t trigger the events that led you to this point, right? 

Well yeah but whatever it is you’ve sufficiently clued that it’s terrible & I really don’t want to do it, so I’d rather not, thanks.

Okay, I’m not going to tell you NOT to leave, but I hope you realize this will end the game.

Oh. Okay, fine I guess. But I bet I’m not gonna like it.

BAILEY: Are you seriously telling me that I’m the only one who considered that the Bear might not be actively trying to kill us?!

Bailey is woke as fuck from all that hanging out on Twitter. Meanwhile, I’m still working my way through the flashback, waiting for the terrible part.

Oh. Yeah. Yeah, I could see how that would fuck a bear kid up.

Meanwhile, Carla is having a really rough day.

She’s cold and wet and tired and feels way too old for this s#%^, and so does the only thing her exhausted mind can think of while facing imminent death.


Hi, Carla!

Immediately after climbing on your back, JONATHAN goes Mad With Power.

This game is cute and has good jokes. I could have mentioned that before but I have been too busy playing it.



Or… I could be a nail technician…

“Because you can’t deal with a little tough love now and then?”

Hi it’s called emotionally abusive parenting hi hello thanks

And now I’m the 62-year-old eccentric tech billionaire who brought parachute pants back into style, so good on me, I guess.

You fly a variety of aircraft to intimidate your rivals, the salty torrent of their fevered tears driving your ceaseless fury–the red crescent of the blood moon shining on the faceless hordes of your dark army, the raging abyss rising to greet the supposedly sane with the grinning death-mask of their own futile–

I think that might be an actual theme of this game, that everyone in it needs therapy real bad. Come to think of it, that’s probably an actual theme of real life.

Oh hey I just realized this game passes Bechdel. Good job, this game!

So, okay, yeah, basically this is a game about a bear who does a shit ton of ayahuasca until he’s able to begin to process his complicated feelings about growing up in an overcontrolling emotionally abusive household.

There were a few plot threads that just got dropped completely (did I just choose not to wear Clark’s face?) but mostly I dug it.




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