When I first discovered Where The Bees Make Honey something told me that I must play this game. It appeared to be a type of game that I enjoy to play from time to time, cute but with an odd style. I knew it wasn’t going to shake the ground beneath my feet like God of War or dazzle me with amazing gameplay like Horizon Zero Dawn. No, I was interested in this one because of the puzzles and the meaning behind the story.
Where The Bees Make Honey by Brian Wilson is a story about Sunny a woman who is clearly overworked and underappreciated. I think most adults can relate to her on some level. When a sudden power outage at her place of work occurs she makes an attempt to turn it back on. What happens afterwards causes her to take a trip down memory lane and reflect on her childhood. This is where the majority of the gameplay will take place, as a child.
It didn’t take long to learn the controls of the game would play loose but it didn’t really matter in most cases. For a big portion of the game you will be walking around as little Sunny discovering moments of her childhood. I really enjoyed this part of the game even if the gameplay was trying its best to test my patience. It got me to think about my childhood. My thoughts turned to my bike that I had constructed with my Grandpa in his shop and the time we spent together repairing it. Trips I went on with my Grandmother. Motorcycle rides I took with my father. The first day of school and my mother reassuring me everything would be alright. I didn’t know this was going to happen. I didn’t plan on reminiscing about my childhood as well, but there I was, deep in thought.
The problem with that was my thoughts faded away as oddly constructed puzzles were presented in the game that seemed to have no real bearing other than to just add to the length of the game. Yes, figuring out some of the tightly constructed puzzles was neat and all but it took me out of that mindset. Honestly I would have preferred the game to just remain a walking simulator and let me drift off into my own head. I didn’t dislike the puzzles don’t get me wrong. Like I said, they were actually cool to solve with having to rotate them as the world within the puzzle changed. Pretty neat concept.
I did find moments in the game where I thought the setting appeared fantastic and then there were parts where it looks as if it was put together at the last moment. It kind of goes the same way with the gameplay. At times it plays decent but at others you will want to throw your controller across the room. For example there is a part where you play as a rabbit. Who wouldn’t want to play as a rabbit, right? The problem here is that the rabbit is incredibly hard to control. The camera angles move around causing the rabbit to move in directions that just doesn’t seem possible. What makes this even more frustrating is that you have to jump from ledge to ledge with this rabbit. This took me more than a few tries and at one point I thought maybe the game is broken and I should just cut my losses. Fortunately or unfortunately for me I don’t give up easily. I finished the level and it actually had a moment in it that as a parent you can appreciate.
This is why Where The Bees Make Honey fails and succeeds at the same time. There are cut scenes in the game that flash but are so quick you can’t tell what is going on. I don’t know if it was due to a glitch or how the developer wanted it to look but I didn’t like it. On the other hand the moments of childhood and the connection you start to feel as an adult with those childhood experiences make it all worth it. When I was playing I had this feeling of sadness but at the same time a feeling of joy. The game put me in this emotional state and I honestly had no idea how I got there. I know that doesn’t make sense and that is what drove me crazy thinking about this game. A lot doesn’t make sense. The gameplay could be downright dreadful at times but yet I still played on. I wanted to hear the story, I wanted to know what happened and more importantly I wanted to know more about my life.
My advice, play the game at your own risk, kind of like life.