Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree E3 2005 Preshow Report

A classic children's book comes to life in this GBA platformer.

Remember that tree in your neighbor's backyard when you were a kid? You remember the one. Had a knot in it that, with the right angle of moonlight, looked like a smirking Anton LaVey? People around town say the tree was the setting for some unspeakable animal sacrifices back in 1952. High schoolers swore that on Halloween night, you could actually hear the tree shriek in agony. Yeah, that's the one! Well, that's not exactly the specific tree referred to in Namco's upcoming Game Boy Advance game for kids, The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree, but that doesn't mean the game's tree is any less horrifying!

Click to enlarge.

In the game you'll follow the adventures of Brother, Sister, and Uncle Fred--all three of which are playable in the game--as they get lost while heading home through the woods in a rainstorm. Searching for relief from the downpour, they have no choice but to use the spooky old tree referenced in the title as shelter. The game will feature 15 levels of adventure as the three bears adventure in and around the spooky old oak, avoiding dangerous obstacles and adversaries, such as wasps and spiders, all the while. Luckily the three furry heroes will be able to work individually--using special abilities such as strength, bravery, and jumping and objects like a flashlight, rope, or stick--or as part of a team to make sure everyone gets home safe, sound, and dry.

The game, based on the classic children's book The Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain has the look of a standard platformer--complete with ladder climbing, multiple lives, and plenty of jumping--featuring that classic Berenstain art style. The game is currently scheduled for a September 2005 release.

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