One bear's journey through time to save...Edmonton?

One of the first things you will notice in Epic Dumpster Bear 1.5 DX: Dumpster Fire Rebirth is that we are not dealing with just any ordinary dumpster diving bear. Oh, no, this bear walks upright, executes amazing jumps, collects coins, and lands like a sack of wet sand when he jumps off a cliff of cargo containers. While this may sound odd and painful, it’s all good fun.

This enhanced version of the Wii U game Epic Dumpster Bear is a rather Canadian take on a Mario-style platformer, and the Canadian aspect is what makes this game really fun. Oh, sure, any game can be a platformer; all you need is some kind of tortured path to run and jump around on, coins to collect, hazards to avoid, and so on. This game has all that, plus a peculiar sense of humor often exhibited by our friends in the great white north (yes, I’m trying my darndest to not type the letters e and h together all over the place…).

It is this sense of humor and whimsy which makes this game a gem. It would be easy to make a game where the hero is a bear and it engages in dumpster diving to get food—this would be expected. The fun parts are things like the bear’s enemies including cows and giant wasps, that the bear has had some encounters which give it a genius IQ, that the bear can and has flown a spaceship, and that the bear is on a quest to fight government corruption. Now that’s entertainment!

If we backtrack a bit, we’ll recall that the game is, in its basic form, a platformer. This means that the gameplay is pretty simple; the left stick lets you run left or right, the B button is for jumping, Y button is for a short charge, and that’s all you need. As you make your way around the map, collecting coins is one of the big items on the agenda. Not getting chomped by alligators or splattered with the white stuff that comes out of seagulls is also a very good idea. There are plenty of other hazards along the way, but the important thing to remember is that you can only take two hits before getting the boot from the level.

The graphics are not exactly top shelf, but the game looks good and the gameplay comes in at a smooth 60fps. The mazes of cargo containers and other environment elements are expansive enough to keep you poking around to make sure you have been everywhere on the level and challenging enough to make you take your time in some places. The cows may be easy enough, but those seagulls are real bombardiers.

As you complete each level, the next one will unlock for you. If you complete all of the levels, you get access to “Epic Dumpster Bear: Dumpster Fire Redux.” So, even more super-intelligent, dumpster diving, crusader bear action for you! The game also boasts seven worlds of platforming goodness (their words), a bonus 3D level, secret exits to be found and ten boss levels.

Also, you can get Epic Dumpster Bear 1.5 DX: Dumpster Fire Rebirth for a mere $4.99 on the Nintendo site. Between that and all the bear-y awesomeness, who can say no?