Frank is not a good bear. In fact, he’s an evil mastermind who plans to take over the world to try and set all the teddy bears in human captivity free. You and your baseball cap wearing friend Buddy the panda bear are the only ones that can stop him, and so he’s locked you in his teddy bear factory. It’s up to you to strap on a PlayStation VR or Oculus Rift headset – a Vive release is coming soon – grab a pair of motion controllers, and splatter Frank’s teddy army into balls of fluff using a range of weapons.
You’ll face this army of bears in three types of level, with seven of each and a boss battle at the end. Survival mode is a simple shoot-out; armed with a kind of Nerf gun pistol and shotgun it’s time to take aim at the teds and vanquish them all to complete the level. Bears attack on the ground, float in the air, roll in on bombs or fling bottles of fizzy soda from afar. There are also larger bears with wooden shields that can only be taken down with the shotgun, plus bonus targets which give you extra points or replenish your health.
The second mode, Fire, has all of the above but swaps the shotgun for a water pistol which is only used to douse flaming canisters. The water pistol has no effect on bears so this mode is particularly frantic and has you crossing you arms and pulling off all sorts of
ridiculous dance moves poses to aim at the right targets. Bomb then swaps the water pistol for a freeze gun, which does what it says on the tin and freezes the bears. It’s also used to freeze bombs which are slowly trundling their way down conveyor belts towards a trio of exceptionally cute trapped Pandas.
Each gun has limited ammo, but once its magazine has been spent you can fling the weapon at a bear to stun it. You then have to move your hands down to your sides and unholster your next weapon, which is rather tricky when sitting down so I do recommend playing the game standing up. Complete all the levels, which all have local high score tables so you can challenge your friends, and there’s a final boss battle with Frank who has a giant robot teddy and, once again, some poor helpless Pandas hanging over a grinder.
It’s a relatively short game and you’ll see the end after an hour or two at most. It has some replayabilty if you want to chase high scores, but little reason to return after that. That said, playing Sneaky Bears is bags of fun and I was smiling and enjoying every moment of it. It’s not clever or particularly impressive, but the shooting is spot on and you will soon find yourself pulling off moves that would be at home in The Matrix.
Despite being a backwards baseball cap wearing Panda who calls you “Bro” and “Dude”, Buddy is extremely likeable and super cute, but it’s Frank who is the star of the show. He pops up on TV screens in the menus, briefly between rounds, and at the end of each level and has some excellent dialogue packed with movie quotes, put downs, and even an impression of Donald Trump. He’s packed with personality, sometimes angry and evil, other times sounding liking he’s just worn down and sad. His final scene with Buddy is a brilliant riff on a classic movie scene that had me giggling for ages. You also get to have a dance with a whole room full of super cute Pandas at the end, and if that doesn’t put a smile on your face then there’s something seriously wrong with you.
Sneaky Bears is simply great fun while it lasts, so it’s a shame it can be completed so quickly, as I would have loved to spend more time with Buddy and Frank. It’s also a bit expensive (£15.99) given the content, but that’s the case with most PSVR games. All in all, it’s one of the best wave-based shooters on PSVR and definitely worth a look, especially if you have younger players in the family.
Version Tested: PlayStation 4