Bees, particularly honeybees, are often incorrectly characterized in videogames – as well as in other media. Sometimes that’s due to their similarity with with the more aggressive wasps (which make for better enemies), sometimes that is due to the alien-like complexity of their social behavior, sometimes the creators are interested in bees only beecause they allow a multitude of puns around on the letter B. Hilarious.
The threat of Colony Collapse Disorder and the alarming decline of wild bee species has brought an unprecedented mainstream interest around the fuzzy pollinators, which in turn spurred a wave of bee-themed indie games. As an amateur beekeeper, semi-professional game designer, and generally pedantic person, I decided to play all the games I could find on the subject and rate them according to their “realism”. The rating goes from one (⬢⬡⬡⬡⬡) to five (⬢⬢⬢⬢⬢) honeycomb cells.I intentionally avoided all the games in which bees are completely anthropomorphized or function like a spaceship, and games in which bees play a secondary role. I did include short and semi-abstract games when they referenced the bees actual behavior. Realism is not a matter of visual definition or sheer procedural complexity. In my view, even a tiny game can capture something compelling about this fascinating insect.
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