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"Amber Ashworth, if I had a nickel for every time this broad got me into trouble, I'd be neck-deep in nickels right now..."
Ted E. Bear

Bear With Me is an episodic point-and-click "horror" noir adventure video game series from the Croatian developer Exordium Games.

The first entry of the series was released on August 8, 2016. It follows a young girl named Amber wakes from a nightmare to discover her brother has gone missing. She enlists the help of her trusty partner, Hardboiled Detective wannabe Ted E. Bear, to go looking for him, but this is no ordinary adventure for them.

All three episodes are available on Steam and GOG

A prequel game, Bear With Me: The Lost Robots, was released on July 31, 2019, featuring Amber's older brother Flint as the main protagonist.

Tropes for the entire series:

  • Ironic Name: In terms of the title, it basically means "be patient with me". But Ted, as a detective, is often known to be impatient.
  • Period Piece: Both games take place in The '30s, specifically in 1937 as seen in the torn invoice in The Lost Robots.
  • Secondary Character Title: The title Bear With Me is usually attributed to Ted E. Bear, but he is the series' Deuteragonist and not the protagonist.

Tropes exclusive to the first game:

  • Anti-Villain: The game's Big Bad Red Man is actually trying to help Amber deal with her repressed memories. It just so happens that he does this by burning up a city that possibly isn't all in her head.
  • Big Bad: The Red Man, an unknown criminal who is responsible for a string of arsons across Paper City and targets Ted and Amber over the course of the game for unknown reasons. He's part of the game's Big Bad Ensemble with Mills, who is also targetting the duo by ordering Locke and his police officers. Eventually, the Red Man becomes the sole antagonist for the rest of the final act.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Both the Red Man and Mills serve as the main antagonists of the game who are vying for the spot, as they both target Amber and Ted for different purposes. Mills is the corrupt mayor of Paper City, who uses his power to eliminate his rival King, so that he would rule the city in a corrupt manner and get rid of them including his rivals. The Red Man, meanwhile, is a serial killer who hunts down both Ted and Amber around the Paper City, making him a serious threat to the city's residents, albeit his goal is to make Amber deal with the repressed memories of her past. In the final act, the Red Man later becomes the sole Big Bad after Mills was taken care of by Amber and Ted, where he is the last and most important foe Amber has to deal with.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The game seems fond of this sort of joke.
    • A notable instance of this is when you find the "secret message" from one of the game developers. Amber and Ted decide they should never speak of it again.
  • But Thou Must!: Millie will insist you get Ted to go with you at the start of episode 1.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Amber's kidnapping at the hands of Locke and the death of Ted changes the whole tone of the story near the end of the game.
  • Chekhov's Gag: An option Ted has to say almost every time you need something from someone in episode 2 is that he needs it to save the president's life. They usually ask him who the president is. He doesn't know. At one of these occasions, there's a brief conversation involving who the current president is, with three names being mentioned. In the trivia game, one of the questions is... Who is the president? The options are: the three names mentioned earlier, and Your Mom. Interesting in that it isn't necessary to get this question right (unless going for an achievement) and the gag leads to a gag.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When making a banana split for the gorilla guarding the elevator, Amber remarks that she is allergic to bananas when taking the banana, and expresses desire to eat the banana split when it is complete, even though Ted remarks that she just said that she was allergic. This seems like a curious allergy to have when earlier you interact with peanuts and nothing is said about Amber being allergic to something much more commonly allergenic, and also surprising that Amber would still want to eat something that would give her an allergic reaction. Bananas are simply much more tempting to eat (especially when paired with something else) than nuts, even as peanut butter. Later on, it's revealed that Amber ate banana cookies for her brother, even though she was always made her own cookies, because her's were always so "mundane". Which is only part of the backstory for the plot.
  • City Noir: Paper City seems to be a Lighter and Softer version of a Noir city, everything is black and white and it always rains, the local politicians are corrupt and the police are incompetent.
  • Comically Small Bribe: An option in episode 2 is to use the remaining coin from the jukebox to bribe the police dog into letting you through. He doesn't accept it, but you do get an achievement for it.
  • Corrupt Politician: The mayor of Paper City is implied to be one by Ted in episode 2.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: To go along with the "film noir" vibe.
  • Dirty Cop: The Paper City Police Department act as the eyes and the ears to the city's mayor Mills, with him being in charge, in order to weed out those who are a conflict to his own interests for Paper City. But they turn out to be another corrupt organisation when Mills sends Locke and the entire PCPD to attack King, his rival candidate, and his minions so that he would win the mayoral race through his underhanded tactics.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Commissioner Locke, the right-hand to Mayor Mills, is the more direct threat to Ted and Amber as he's the one fuelling Mills' orders, since Mills is non-action over the course of the game.
  • Dramatic Irony: Ted is a bird watcher, and if he were watching the birds, then he would have seen that the birds were watching them
  • Film Noir: Intentionally tries to recreate this feel, especially when Ted narrates as a Hardboiled Detective.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Parodied. Ted drinks "carrot juice", but Amber isn't shy about teasing him about his drinking habits and telling others he's drunk. If you interact with a glass while playing as Ted he will even sarcastically tell the player about his favorite cocktail.
    • Amber: "He's fine... He's just... Sleepy and grumpy. And, like, totally not drunk..."
    • In later episodes Ted's drunkenness is treated more straightforwardly.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: If Amber chooses to use the sword to Red Man, the game ends right where it all started: in Amber's room with Millie.
  • Hurricane of Puns: As if the Pun-Based Title didn't clue you in, the game's steam page lists this as a feature.
  • Living Toys: Most of the characters aside from Amber, her family, and the Red Man seem to be this.
    • The toys seem to fall into either "imaginary friend" or "I've got no Strings" on the Sliding Scale of Living Toys. Ted seemed very reluctant for Amber to go to her parents for help, and all of the stuffed animals hold Amber in the highest regard so it's unlikely they interact with anyone other than her and each other. There's also the line at the end of Episode One between Amber and Ted. Ted states that his old partner "grew up".
    • At the same time, it's still clear the toys have complex inner lives without Amber, and there are even sections of the game where you play as Ted without Amber being present at all.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • It's never clear how real Paper City is; on the one hand, Amber being an artistic demigoddess to Paper City and the Red Man's actual goal of forcing her to cope with Flint's death imply it's All Just a Dream. On the other hand, dialogue from Ted, King and Mayor Mills implies Paper City is real, but can't prosper without a "Creator" playing in it.
    • The Red Man himself never gets identified; the only explanation you get is that his red torn cloth was actually torn off of a firefighter's shirt the day Flint died. Given the power Amber has, even if Paper City is real he might still be nothing but an aspect of her mind.
  • Running Gag: The paintings and lamps all get unique descriptions if clicked on. Every single one. Naturally, there's an achievement for clicking on all of them.
    • If you try to do this in later chapters, Ted calls you out on it, saying he doesn't want to look for all the lamps again.
  • Shout-Out: A few examples:
  • Splash of Color: Whenever the Red Man shows up. Also happens when Ted sees Flint's room in the real world, in full pastel colors no less.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Amber pulls Ted out of one at the start of the game.
  • Theme Naming: All the names for the police dogs that we hear are Irish names (usually names beginning with B) as an Irish Copper theme.
  • Those Two Guys: The Mugshot Brothers, Jimmy and Jon-Jon. They are often hardly separated.
  • Wham Episode: Ted's death at the hands of Locke completely changed the whole direction of the story, where it now focuses on Amber dealing with her true nature and with the Red Man. From that point onward, she quips less and everything about the final act involves with her past as well as Flint's death.
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: When Amber picks a lock with a rusty nail, Ted complains about lazy writing.
  • Your Mom: In Episode 2 Ted plays a question and answer game to try and trick information out of someone. He has the option to sarcastically answer "Your mom?" to every question about a person. The final question, of course, is "If your uncle's sister is not your aunt, who is she?"