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Bee Movie Game

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in the Bee Movie Game for the Xbox 360 are very good; especially when compared to the PS2 version. The detail is higher and the models look better. Even the cinematics look better, though this may be specifically due to video resolution.

There are several things in the Bee Movie Game that involve seeing things "as a bee would see them." This includes a special mode called "bee vision" that changes the view to look like thermal vision or something similar, but highlights flowers that have pollen to collect, flowers that need pollen, enemies, dangers and, well, pretty much anything you can meaningfully interact with. Even without this special mode turned on, however, flowers that have pollen to collect have a yellow cloud around them and flowers that need pollen have a purple cloud around them. (Go LSU!)

There are a lot of collectible/unlockable art goodies in Bee Movie Game. You can unlock concept art by taking photographs in indicated photo spots. You can also collect wax statues by finding them in the various levels. Once these art assets are unlocked, they can be viewed at your leisure by going to the Museum in New Hive City. You can select View Closer to get a full-screen view of the artwork or turn the wax statues around 360 degrees to view them from various angles. This will be of interest to fans of the movie and completest bastards alike.


At some point, someone decided that the proper way to handle a movie license is to make a game that is a collection of mini-games, each themed with part of the movie or just loosely themed on the characters and, perhaps, the general concept of the movie. I am not really sure who first decided this, but this seems to be the approach that the Bee Movie Game takes. However, it seems that for the Bee Movie Game, this approach works.

There are levels of the game that advance the story. These levels show Barry's adventures outside of the hive and are presented as filmed "clips" being shown during Barry's interview with a TV talk show host. One mini-game that is used often in these levels is one where you have to respond to the directions on-screen, pressing left, right or some button quickly when it shows up on-screen. Gamers who are familiar with God of War will recognize this mechanic from that game, although I believe the first appearance of this gameplay mechanic was actually in Dragon's Lair. The other thing that comprises the adventures outside of the hive is a constrained world, in which you can fly around, trying to achieve a given directive. Different missions will have different goals, but you can perform such actions as collecting pollen, pollenating flowers, collecting wax statues and honey treats, taking pictures and fighting enemies. Some of the more entertaining missions were the ones that were predominantly attacking enemies; think of a dog-fight situation, but using insects instead of airplanes. The controls are simple enough here to make this simply, if fairly mindless, fun.

Inside of the hive, there are lots of mini-games that don't advance the storyline, but can be fun, nonetheless. The theme is based on the concept behind the movie here; Barry can try out various jobs that, in one way or another, tend to support the production of honey. One of Barry's driving motivations is that he wants to do something other than making honey. Now, I can't say whether the jobs used in these mini-games actually came from the movie, as I haven't seen Bee Movie, yet. I will say that I would be surprised to find that racing was a career option in the movie, as it doesn't have anything to do with producing honey. The rest of the mini-games make sense; I know that in the movie bees use cars to get around, so it makes sense that there would be a need for mechanics and taxi drivers. For that matter, food delivery is not a ridiculous stretch, as a bee's gotta eat, but racing is driving for the sake of driving and I would think that if that was an available career in the movie, Barry wouldn't have had as much to complain about.


I did not find the Bee Movie Game to be very difficult. There were, of course, times that I got shot by enemies or hit by rain, but the difficulty was far from frustrating; I can't think of anything in particular that I had to do more than twice. Part of this has to do with the forgiving nature of the Bee Movie Game's levels. In most places, you can take a little bit of damage and you won't die. If you can avoid taking damage for a bit, you will be up to full health again. You can tell you've taken damage, by the way, when the screen sort of blurs on the outside edges and the color starts fading a bit towards black and white. Even when you die, you are restarted from the most recent checkpoint, which is usually fairly recent, so you don't lose a lot of progress.

One thing I noticed that will help you achieve "money" in the game quicker is that when you're in the hive and not inside of a mini-game, destroying elements of the environment will give you five points each. This includes street lights, trash cans... if you can smash it, you'll get points for it. These points can then be spent to buy new costumes, cars or videogames, among other things. The good news is that the environment elements respawn once you've done a mission, so you'll want to knock lots of them down before each mission if you're trying to collect a lot of points.

While the game isn't excessively challenging, it is still entertaining to play, and is the gamer-point equivalent of an "easy 'A'," so if you're trying to up your score, you might want to play through the Bee Movie Game on the 360.

Game Mechanics:

At times, the Bee Movie Game seems somewhat clunky. This is especially true of the racing mini-game, where you never really get the feeling of speed and there's not a lot of challenge, but if you get hit and spun around a couple of times, you're not going to win.

I don't really understand why you get points for destroying the environment. It feels like you're cashing-in the town, one trash can at a time, but that really doesn't make a lot of sense. It's also kind of annoying that when you run over other bees and they sort of just fly out of your way, they will threaten to call the police, but none ever show up. I don't really understand what the underlying message here is other than, possibly, it's cool to destroy things and not to worry about being punished for criminal acts. Maybe I'm missing something here?

The Bee Movie Game is not a bad game. Although it's not very challenging, it's not going to be frustrating for younger gamers. The mini-games are interesting, but don't provide a whole lot of replay value. The Bee Movie Game might be a good game for upping your gamer score, but it's not going to win any awards. If the kid in your life loves the Bee Movie, then the Bee Movie Game might be a nice gift. Otherwise, it's probably more of a rental-first type of game.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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