Rightfully, Beary Arms is the first game by Daylight Basement Studio, a three-person indie developer in the Greater Boston area. You play as Beary, an adorable little teddy bear with a not-adorable and not-little arsenal of weapons at his disposal. Guide Beary on his quest across the galaxy to find his lost weapons and…
Say, why is he doing this?
At first I thought the story would turn out to be about a kid playing with toys.
Then I found what seems to be a real handgun, and now I'm deeply concerned.
The title Rightfully, Beary Arms is actually a great metaphor for the game itself: Weirdly cute, slightly nonsensical, and you really want to keep going to find out what the heck is going on here.
Gameplay: Enter the Gungeon, but Make It Adorable
Rightfully, Beary Arms is a top-down bullet hell roguelite in the same vein as Enter the Gungeon. That means exploring dungeons, finding treasure chests and shops, shooting baddies, and dodging bullets.
However, while the broad strokes are pretty genre-standard, Rightfully, Beary Arms brings some of its own ideas to the gun rack.
The first thing you’ll notice while playing through the tutorial is that you can upgrade your guns as you go—maybe not earth-shattering, but it’s nice that you’re not just stuck with whatever weapons you’re lucky enough to find.
The second thing you’ll find is that you get choices about where to go next, so you can look around for the best level rewards or your favorite type of stage.
Finally, there are different enemy factions with different strengths and weaknesses, so you can (hopefully) match your build up against enemies you’ll be especially good at killing.
Sorry, I meant "good at pixelating."
The Twist: Death Is Not the End
Alright, so far we’ve got an Enter the Gungeon-like with a cutesy art style and a few minor differences. What’s the major selling point?
The big twist in Rightfully, Beary Arms comes when you die. Instead of losing everything and having to start all over, you keep your upgrades and a bit of your loot and keep right on playing. It’s sort of reminiscent of Hades’s God Mode, where each time you die you get a little bit stronger for the next run.
The catch here is, your enemies will also get stronger. Each time you die, the game will offer you a few different “Calamities” to choose from—like more enemies, new enemy types, or losing the loot you were supposed to keep—and you have to pick the one you think will be the least… uh, calamitous.
Naturally, this Calamity system means that death isn’t the end of a run. Instead, in an Undertale-like test of determination, the game doesn’t end until you either win or give up.
And in true roguelike fashion, you will die A LOT.
Gain Early Access to the Carnage
Overall, Rightfully, Beary Arms is a solid, if not exceptional Gungeon-like with one major twist that makes it very interesting indeed. If you do pick this one up, my advice is to give it a little time to grow on you—I have to admit that I almost turned the game off after the first 10 minutes, but by the time I was an hour in I was glad I’d stuck with it.
Rightfully, Beary Arms is currently in Early Access for $9.99, which feels like the right price for what you get at the moment. With that said, it’s still in Alpha and the devs have promised that there’s a lot more content on the way. So, if you’re looking for a new game to let you blast through hordes of enemies, or if you’re fond of extremely violent teddy bears, Rightfully, Beary Arms is the game for you.