Sawbuck Gamer

Rude Bear Radio

How Rude!

Rude Bear Radio is a tough crash course in video game history.

By Derrick Sanskrit • September 24, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Video games take so much time these days. Studios spend several years making them, and people complain when they takes less than 40 hours to play through. Maybe this is why so many people are fascinated by the results of Ludum Dare. The three-times-a-year competition gives developers 48 hours to make a game and walk away. In the most recent Ludum Dare, Alex Rose decided it wasn’t enough to just make a game in that short period of time. He also wanted to give an abridged history of retro games in its own, even less forgiving time frame.

Using approximations of their individual, iconic playstyles, Rude Bear Radio has players relive scenes from games dating as far back as Space Invaders and Super Mario Bros.—all in 10-second encounters. It’s a lot like Nintendo’s WarioWare series of micro-games—where players are barraged with simple tasks that require one or two button presses and a couple of seconds to complete—assuming WarioWare hated you and wanted you to fail constantly without really learning anything. More than twitchy muscle response, Rude Bear Radio asks players to read and respond quickly and cleverly, be it in finding the proper comeback joke in a Secret of Monkey Island-like insult contest or knocking over towers in a clunky facsimile of Angry Birds.

There are eight micro-games in all, ranging from awful to sort-of-cute-I-guess, but the package is more than the sum of its parts. The loose connections between the games creates a charming crash course in gaming history, and the thrill of scoring higher than five points is undeniable. The game’s difficulty, reflective of the sadistic challenges of gaming past, is likely a happy accident. I can’t imagine 48 hours allows for decent play testing. Let’s just call it hardcore.

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  • boardgameguy

    Managed five on my first try and then haven’t beaten a four since.

    • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

      I managed a 13, but it gave me RRRRRR 1/3 of the time, and that’s probably the easiest of the bunch. I average a 4 most sessions.

      • Jackbert

        I’m just 7 behind you on the leaderboard! Jackbert, number 12, score of 9. I’m going to keep trying, will update.

      • boardgameguy

        I was surprised when I got a game I had already played. I thought it was cycling on a set order rather than randomizing. Which is too bad since I’m terribly at the Bear Copter.

        • Alex Rose

          The first time you play it’s actually rigged so you get to play all the games consecutively. Once you’ve made a score it’s random.

      • Raging Bear

        18, you slags. Bear solidarity.

        (actually, I got 6 extra credits from a roulette round…then failed each subsequent game).

        • Alex Rose

          57 here, a huh-hey. I got 3 RRRRRRs in a row on hard mode and then an instant death roulette. Honestly though, easy mode felt easy when I was making it!

          My biggest regret is how many insults display in Monkey Island on easy. It should’ve been 2, or 3 at best (the bottom one doesn’t count though, it’s always lyrics from big grime/american hip hop tracks).

          I also regret that Pokémon is just a trial and errorathon. Luckily practice mode.. sort of makes up for it. Other than that, it really felt fair (and once you’re actually good at it the only thing that kills you off). I like hard games!

          To be honest though, I’d just recommend playing Super Rudio Bros level 3 and RRRRRR level 7. Those are the fun bits. Thanks a lot for playing!

        • Raging Bear

          @disqus_FUYJxXZQE4:disqus Nice game you made there! I hope it leads to a massive Rude Bear franchise, because I for one would support the hell out of that.

    • light

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  • Raging Bear

    Still, you can’t fault the framing device.

  • caspiancomic

    Managed to get 25 on my best try (hey, I can see Jackbert!). Never even once beat Super Rudio Brothers. Nice touch: the Space Invaders level uses a MIDI’d version of ‘Invaders Must Die’ by the Prodigy.

  • Alex Rose

    Thanks for playing! It was intentionally hard but not.. intentionally.. as hard as people find it. Easy mode was supposed to be possible, but it’s pretty difficult to gauge how hard each minigame is when you’ve already played it for a couple of hours by the time it’s complete.

    Also “ranging from awful to sort-of-cute-I-guess” – it’s funny ’cause it’s true.

    • http://gameological.com/author/derricksanskrit/ Derrick Sanskrit

      I kid because I love.

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