Have a love of adventure games and an hour or so to spare? You absolutely must take a look at Finding Teddy [Free / $2.99]. No, the name may not inspire confidence, but trust me, Look At My Game has published a real gem. It may not quite be the next Sword & Sworcery [$1.99], but that's not for lack of beauty or heart.

It begins with a childhood nightmare, a teddy bear stolen by something monstrous from the closet. The wordless little girl that stars in Finding Teddy is brave and curious, though, and she ventures in after it. From there it's a trip into a world of lovely pixels, terrifying creatures and magical music.

As with the best adventure games, the short time I spent with Finding Teddy was filled with moments of discovery. Some were of the traditional point-and-click variety—finding bits and pieces lying around and figuring out where they're meant to be used. This is the mixed bag it always is. If you buy into the game's logic all the pieces fall into place. If not, there are moments of dragging and dropping and aggravating experimentation.

Those moments are blessedly few, though. Most of the game's puzzles are musical in nature. At first this means listening carefully and echoing the sounds you hear—headphones are beyond recommended, by the way. As you solve each puzzle, you're given a record of the notes you've used and repetition becomes just a little easier. Eventually you'll become fluent in the music of Finding Teddy. For all it lacks in dialogue, it manages to communicate plenty.

Take the environments. As you travel through the game you explore verdant forests, dark caves and lots in between. Each has a mood to convey, something magical and dangerous in equal parts—something common to all the best childhood adventures.

I don't think it's an accident that the palettes and designs recall Fez, a game with a similar tone of playful mystery. The creatures of the world are less playful, and call to mind the goriest of cautionary tales. Discover how to help them and they'll be your allies in the task before you, but take the time to watch each gruesome death first. They help build a world I'd love to explore further.

That's the kicker. An hour in the world of Finding Teddy, give or take, is painfully short. I've only just grasped the keys to the puzzles. There is more that could be done with the mechanics and the world, and I'd love to see how much further it could be taken.

If the mechanics are set aside, on the other hand, the length is just right. Finding Teddy has a story to tell, but it's a short, heart-breakingly sweet tale. Hours wouldn't add to that. I won't spoil a thing, but there's a message that carries through each encounter until the very last, and it's a message that made me just a little teary-eyed when I finally noticed it. Padding could ruin that—related episodes, on the other hand, would be more than welcome.

A word of warning before you dive in: it sounds as though the developers are tracking down a few big bugs and crashes that are affecting some players. You may want to check out the free demo first. It will give the game a chance to charm you too, and it's hard to imagine it won't.

Finding Teddy is a delight and a surprise. It's a game that could easily languish as a hidden gem of the platform, but it's just as sure to be evangelized by those that play it. It's an easy game to love, particularly if you're a fan of point-and-click adventure. The story of a girl and her teddy bear may not seem like the must-play hit of the moment, but it has so much love to give. A little of your time isn't much to ask in return.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • ImJPaul

    If ou the developers would add iphone 5 support. That's all I'm waiting for to play this game.

    • homosaur

      The new complaining about retina...

      • ImJPaul

        Sorry?

      • Nadante

        He's referring to before when iPad 3 owners whined about every game not having Retina support.

        It not only was asinine, but it seemed like a way to underhandedly brag about having the latest technology.

      • Thaurin

        This is different. I hate having black bars.

    • garret44

      I was waiting for it to be optimized too, the developer said they don't have current plans to optimize it.

      But I decided to get it anyway and damn was it worth it

      • ImJPaul

        I know. I'm probably gonna just buckle and get it. It looks really good. Too good to pass up. Ahhh. Screw it. Here I go.

    • garret44

      I was waiting for it to be optimized too, the developer said they don't have current plans to optimize it.

      But I decided to get it anyway and damn was it worth it

  • elmazzer

    Nice "draw my life" video

  • http://twitter.com/dmarcoot Dave Marcoot

    looks awesome

  • Karzay

    Looks like a cross between Sword & Sworcery and Yume Nikki. I'm in!

    • homosaur

      I'd never heard of Yume Nikki, thanks for the heads up. It looks very interesting

  • Me

    Oh man, I love adventure games (Broken Sword, Monkey Island), so I hope this I good.

  • gtadem

    Holy crap! Will 2013 finally be the year "trailers" get back to showing gameplay? I might buy it just for that reason!

  • Bischi777

    Either i'm too unmusical for the riddles or just plain stupid :-) nevertheless great artsy game.

  • homosaur

    I'm stuck after the bee

  • PadreTomasito

    I have not checked it before buying... Crashes on iPad 4 with iOS 6.1, but works ok on iPad1 (iOS 5.1) - uffff, glad that I didn't sold my old ipad.

    • PadreTomasito

      I thought that not crashing in one second after starting means this will go on iPad 1. I was wrong. It does not work at all. Nor on iPad4, nor iPad1, even iPhone4 - it crashes all the time, and only on iPad1 I can see more than a black screen, but only till I tap New Game, then boom - it crash again. For a second I thought maybe I need to change a language to english, but no it does not either. Can't believe it. Excuse me but... WTF?!?

  • rimiex

    Yes, they may choose not to add iPhone 5 support, but this App won't work AT ALL on my iPhone 5! This kind of support MUST be added, since I had to buy the app before knowing it wouldn't work...

  • garret44

    Extraordinary game. Just finished it. It gave me the same feeling of adventure and discovery as sword and sworcery.

  • dlockwood

    Please Help!!! I gave the golden fly to a spider and he ran away. What do I do next!!! I have been going back an forth from cave to cave!!!

  • Adi

    Ok, just finished the game, but still some wonder remaining...

    - One picture is missing in my gallery, are yours full ? My saving indicates 100% and I've got the 15 hidden orbs.

    - What are the letters written above the tree in the first part of the game ? Begging with AA, curious word !

    - Is what the "flying deer with four wings" singing useful (in the cave just befor the empty bottle) ? It seem to be "TELL HER I AM SORRY" !

    - When we beginning the game again after finish it a first time, we got the entire alphabet except the "S", why ?

    Some ideas, thanks

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.stewart.507679 Kyle Stewart

      I`m in the exact same situation. Is it a glitch? or is there some final secret that has yet to be discovered? I'm using an Ipad2. What are you using? Has anyone ever been able to unlock the S?

  • PadreTomasito

    Guys have you idea why it does not work on any device I own? iPad4, iPad1, iPhone4, each device has newest iOS available. Is here any developer?

Finding Teddy Reviewed by Nissa Campbell on . Rating: 4.5