If you’ve ever wanted to raise a den of bears then Ursa Hollows, from young development studio Carvine Software, may just be the game for you.
Ursa Hollows follows the tried and tested formula of other ‘simulation’ games. You must breed bears, which will earn you gold over time. Gold can then be spent on food, which when fed to your precious cubs will allow them to level up. This, amongst other actions, such as pruning your plot of land, will grant you XP. When you collect a certain amount of XP you will level up and will have access to new store items such as bear species and building types. It’s an addictive process and you might find that you’re soon growing attached to your digital babies.
If I had to pick one word to describe the visuals on display, it would be ‘adorable’. Looking down into the eyes of the bear cubs – who are named Sean, Eddard and Boromir – it’s hard to feel anything but love for my furry offspring. When you combine an endearing visual style with some top notch performance then you’re definitely on to a good thing. Ursa Hollows runs flawlessly. It’s no less than you’d expect from a game of this type, but it’s surprising how many games on the iOS market fail to do even this.
In simulation games complex menus and HUDs can sometimes cause confusion, and in severe cases distress. Thankfully, this isn’t an issue in Ursa Hollows. Menus are broken down into well presented categories, meaning you’ll always know where to find what it is you’re looking for, whilst the HUD allows to you see everything you could want to know without cluttering up the screen; which is good news if you’re playing on an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Ursa Hollows is free to download and play, and while micro-transactions are available I personally never felt the need to use them. Ursa Hollows doesn't break the mould, but rather it gives a new lick of paint to a tried and tested gaming model. It’s easy to see what type of game the guys over at Carvine Software wanted to create, and it would be fair to say they have succeeded. Ursa Hollows isn’t revolutionary, and it certainly doesn’t redefine the genre. What it does do though, is provide a fun and enjoyable mobile experience that is surprisingly addictive. Ursa Hollows is a game that won’t interest everyone, but If you’re a fan of games such as Tiny Tower and Farmville then you should definitely give it a chance.
This review is based on an iOS copy of Ursa Hollows, provided by the publisher.