Naughty Bear won't be winning game of the year, but it certainly doesn't deserve the harsh reviews critics and gamers alike are giving it. Yes, the camera is a bit shaky, but this is something that skilled gamers can adjust to. Yes, the graphics are nothing to write home about. Yes, the play area is essentially the same for each level, but this takes little away from what the game is - a strategic, bear-slaughtering gem.
The game sees you tackling 7 levels, each with a similar goal of punishing a particular bear because they are trying out a new way to get rid of your character, Naughty Bear. There is a different set of enemies for each level, and further to the story missions there are 4 other ways to play the same level (35 missions overall), ranging from friendly (using no weapons to kill the bears), stealth (where you must not be seen more than 5 times), and untouchable (one hit and you fail), among others. The meat of the game boils down to high scores - can you get enough points to unlock the platinum cups, or to be on top of the leaderboards? The strategic element to playing the game is key to getting these high scores. Smash and sabotage objects, scare bears, trap bears, injure bears and drive them crazy. Keep your multiplier up high as you cause more and more chaos, slowly driving them all insane, until they're all completely bonkers! Then use the freeze power-ups to lock your multiplier up high and take them all out one by one. Stringing together multiple combos ending up with a very high score is a satisfying experience, and one you simply won't achieve by rampaging around like a bull in a china shop, which is why Naughty Bear is a satisfying strategic / high score experience.
This brings me to the trophies. If you like to collect them, this game doesn't fall under the category of easy. Getting a platinum cup in 28/35 levels calls for some serious dedication and strategic skills. If you're up for the challenge and are looking for a game which rewards strategy over brute force, then this is the underrated game of 2010 for you. Pick up your copy now before the Naughtycorn escapes!
For sheer fun I'd give this game 4 stars, but I can't deny that there are flaws that would have made this game better, so overall I'd give Naughty 3 stars.