Rafting Bears

Rafting Bears

This week Professor Kelvin Harris and his lab technician Brian, dive head first into fast flowing water to review Rafting Bears on Android and iOS.

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This week Professor Kelvin Harris and his lab technician Brian, dive head first into fast flowing water to review Rafting Bears on Android and iOS.

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“Every day in the United Kingdom we spend £2.5 million on coffee.  Whilst I and many others would think nothing of walking into our favourite high street coffee house and spending several pounds on a white chocolate mocha, we might think twice about spending the same on a mobile game.  Arguably, which will you enjoy for longer?  My name is Kelvin Harris and I’m the resident scientist at Codec Moments, this ursine minor is my lab technician Brian.”

“How do Professor?”

“Together we’re on a mission to highlight the best and the worst, and a few of the mediocre, mobile games that you could pick up for less than cappuccino.  This is ‘Cost of a Coffee’ and this week’s game is Rafting Bears from Crondale.”

“I love bears professor.  Especially teddies.”

“Me too Brian!  There’s nothing like a hairy, masculine, hunk of a guy in a silky night garment.”

“Erm… are we talking about the same thing Professor?  I meant my teddy bear Steve, he’s been my best mate since I was little.”

“Let’s just pretend I didn’t say anything, eh Brian?”

“Got it Professor, you didn’t say ‘owt.”

“I most definitely didn’t come out Brian!!!”

“…Say ‘owt Professor, it’s Geordie for didn’t say nothing…”

“You’d best say nothing!  Rafting Bears is a game that wins the 2014 Ronseal award for naming conventions; it’s a game about bears that go rafting.  Your task is to pilot the raft downstream and prevent it from hitting rocks and rapids, whilst collecting fish, because we all know that fish is a bear’s second favourite food.  If you set a fast enough time, you are awarded with up to three pots of honey, which is the Ursidae Pontoon Club’s version of stars and coincidentally, a bear’s first favourite food.”

“Is that not bad for their teeth Professor?”

“Yes and have you ever tried to get a bear to floss Brian?”

“No… but I led a horse to water once.  It was’nae thirsty mind.”

“Quite.  The controls are simple, but counter-intuitive.  Swipe the left side of the screen to control the left paws and the right side of the screen to move the right paws.  If you swipe left you’ll turn right and vice versa… it gets quite confusing, quite quickly.  Weirdly, Brian managed it better than I did, but then I’ve always suspected he’s wired up backwards.”

Rafting Bears 01

“The doctors scanned my brain and asked if they could keep it when I die.”

“I have first dibs mind.  To control your rafting bears, using two thumbs would be the optimum technique, but the screen doesn’t rotate to landscape making things a little bit tricky to control and meaning you can obscure your view all too easily.  Using two fingers from one hand works better, though it’s not as responsive.  Don’t even get me started on the varying current in the streams you’re tackling, it starts off gently enough but accelerates rapidly pushing you off course; if only it were as predictable as the sinusoidal waveform obtained with an angular frequency of 2πf where f is equal to 50 Hz as it is in alternating current power supplies within the EU.  Your main achievement in this game though will be keeping your bears in the dinghy; if they run into an obstacle there’s a chance one or more will fall out and there’s the risk that your raft will be damaged.  The damage is bad, the loss of control because a bear is drifting downstream is worse.

Rafting Bears 02

But never fear; upgrading your raft, safety equipment and oars by spending fish that you collect as you play, will give you more control over the boating bears and how they perform in the water.”

“Is it worth the ‘Cost of a Coffee’ Professor?”

“Well you’ll be pleased to hear that Rafting Bears is free so you don’t necessarily have to skipping your daily cappuccino with sprinkles for it.  The gameplay is nicely realised and challenging to master, but there’s an element of chance introduced by the current and the effect of the rapids on your craft.  Upgrading your boat should be a worthwhile and rewarding experience, but the price tag for some of the upgrades requires you to splash out 15,000 fish to pay for them.  Alternatively, you could purchase a top up in-app to help with this…. putting it in perspective, if you paid for all the upgrades it would set you back around £20; however, this is where things fall down a bit.  Upgrading the kit doesn’t seem to help that much with the amount of damage the raft sustains, which means levels can still be easily failed, especially as you progress to the harder rivers.  Before diving into the raging rapids of rafting bears, think hard about your in app purchases and perhaps enjoy mastering the semi random nature of the controls if you don’t mind the fishy grind.”

“Cost of a Coffee is a Codec Moments Production and a review copy of Rafting Bears for Android was provided by the Crondale PR team.  For more information visit CodecMoments.com, tweet us @CodecMoments or search for Codec Moments on Facebook and Google+.”

“If you enjoy Cost of a Coffee, please consider reviewing us on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn Radio, any other podcast client of preference, or perhaps write about us in a national publication?  We love doing this podcast, but if we’re not careful we will probably be replaced by Brian Cox, like every science program that is produced by the BBC these days.”

“He was brilliant in Super Troopers 2 Professor.”

“I think you might be thinking of a different Brian Cox, Brian.  You know, the one who played keyboard in D:Ream.”

“Oh, I’ve never seen that film Professor, I wouldn’t even know what Keyboard looked like.”

“See you next time.”

The Verdict


The Good: Nice graphics | Decent physics | Bears

The Bad: Expensive in-app purchases | Sometimes frustrating | No landscape mode

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