Bee Simulator is a briefly enjoyable game with an awkward name choice and a poor price point that keep it from being worthy of a genuine recommendation. This effort from developer Varsav Game Studios tries to cash in on the Simulator name alongside the likes of Goat Simulator, Surgeon Simulator, and the upcoming Pigeon Simulator, but it's arrived a few years too late as that joke's grown stale. Feeling dated is sort of the theme that develops throughout Bee Simulator, as its mechanics, design, and presentation all feel like something ripped from indie games five or 10 years ago.

The idea, on paper, makes sense. Excuse the name for a moment, if you will. This game is about being a bee tasked with collecting pollen and pleasing the queen. You'll fly through an open park space that the developers pitch as being inspired by New York City's Central Park. The whole idea here is that the title is educational and arrives with a distinct lack of violence. The team here delivers on both, but this game won't exactly teach children all they want to know about bees. You can learn more about the plants bearing pollen as you collect them, which can be cool, but this adventure won't turn wannabe entomologists into experts of the bee world.

Instead, Bee Simulator opens with a bit of exposition about how the world needs bees to pollinate crops. Without bees, we don't have fruit and vegetables. For an eight-year-old, the intro and follow-through might work to reinforce what they've already learned in school. It's great that educational games like this are being released, though it's questionable how much teaching Bee Simulator will actually produce. More than likely, a parent may look at buying this game as a replacement for more violent offerings on each platform as opposed to an opportunity to present their kids with a lesson about bees.

As touted by the developers, Bee Simulator buzzes in with a distinct lack of violence. For a vast majority of the exceedingly short single-player campaign, players will focus on flying around the map and completing simple and, ultimately, repetitive objectives. When "violence" does appear, it comes from encounters with, for instance, wasps. The combat sequence that ensues has players press specific buttons in specific patterns, adhering to standard quicktime event-based battle mechanics in favor of anything more intense (or, potentially, more difficult to develop).

All of this is simply fine. Bee Simulator neither excites or frustrates to any extreme degree over the duration of its stay. It's an okay game that might entertain kids or adults interested in bees for a few hours. What moves Bee Simulator from a decent experience built for kids to a game that can't really be recommended in its current form is its price. Bee Simulator sells for $39.99. That's 40 bucks for a short adventure marred by mediocre mechanics, repetitive objectives, and dated design. At $5 or $10, sure, Bee Simulator might warrant attention. The price it has the audacity to actually command simply doesn't match up to the quality of the product. Unless major updates or discounts roll in, it's best to avoid this experience, much like other relatively recent simulator experiences.

Bee Simulator released on November 14th, 2019, for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.