I watched Hive Time‘s development last year with barely restrained joy, but then it came out on the same day as the election and, well. Things happen, you know?
It is a delightful little game about building a hive of bees, and I am entirely covered in bruises from kicking myself for putting off writing about it for so long. But happily, it’s just been updated, adding more ways to customise difficulty, and a “beepedia” full of tips, tutorials, and BEE FACTS. There’s also a charming new trailer.
Although very friendly and entirely about having a good time, Hive Time has some pretty good management chops. You need to adjust the proportion of bee castes to meet your colony’s needs, as bees constantly die of old age, and even the rate of hatching depends on the number of nursery bees. Pollen and nectar are automatically gathered if you have enough foragers, and turned into wax and honey at production cells if you have enough storage cells, which means more builders, and generic workers, and oh no now your population is dropping eeek. Your queen will eventually cark it and must be replaced, but to do that you need to produce valuable royal jelly, and is that a bear attack? Oh god oh god.
The Informational Update makes things a little simpler if you want, adding lots of minor usability features, new particle effects, and throwing in some real world bee trivia just for fun. As lead developer Josh Bush says:
“The number of ‘find your own fun’ options has been expanded. If research isn’t your thing, or you’d rather not wait for bees to construct cells, the Informational Update has got you covered.”
It’s a gentle, happy game, in which little flavour texts pop up telling you about your bees’ mini-adventures and daily struggles, and you can click on a wobbly wee bee for a pop up that might read “activity: bumbling. Carrying: dark thoughts”.
Hive Time is pay-what-you-want on itch.io for Windows, Mac, and Linux.