Every so often a game comes along that’s tricky to talk about without fear of spoiling the experience. Bem Feito is a perfect example, and the fact that it only lasts 1-2 hours makes talking about it harder still. Following in the footsteps of Undertale and the more recent Everhood, it essentially presents two different ways to play, but by the time you realise this, it’s too late to backtrack on your actions.
Load up Bem Feito (Portuguese for ‘a job well done’) you’ll be presented with a Windows-style desktop with a handful of password protected documents, image files, and executable programs. It’s here we learn of Bem Feito – a game released in 1999 for the Garotron handheld, that allegedly left children feeling sick and anxious after playing. Come 2023, there’s very little proof the game even existed, with just a few blurry images of the cartridge itself available online.
Luck would have it a copy of the game has finally been dumped and preserved, fully playable via a Garotron emulator. The rumours of children becoming ill can’t be true, right? There’s only one way to find out, and that involves playing it for yourself.
It takes the form of a low-poly life sim with black and white visuals, featuring 2D sprites in a small 3D environment. Reginaldo – a dead ringer for Crayon Shin-chan, only with a more menacing grin – wakes in his small and cosy home, with each day presenting a small list of chores to complete. The list is found stuck to Reginaldo’s fridge, and once the chores are complete – which vary from catching a fish to taking out the trash – our pixel art pal can take a nap, commencing the next day. Some chores require certain items to complete, such as an axe or hammer, all of which are found in Reginaldo’s “toy box” – the first sign that things are about to become twisted.
At one point during each day, one of Reginaldo’s quirky and peculiar friends will pop over for a visit, either wanting to enjoy his flowers or play video games. A good thing too, as ol’ Reggie often feels lonely. You’ll soon learn there’s a reason behind his loneliness – and probably after it’s too late.
Playing through all seven days takes less than an hour. While the chores change each day, they’re mostly one-button actions; you’re simply here for the ride, rather than invited to spend time dwelling within its monochrome world. Once the experience ends, you’re taken back to the desktop, and the effects of Bem Feito start to spill over to here too, and the aforementioned protected files become accessible – with the game’s achievement names revealing the previously unknown passwords.
The concept and execution are both easy to admire. The faux desktop and the accompanying purposely blurry photographs and manual scans add a lot to the experience, helping to establish a backstory and a sense of mystery. There’s a little bit of humour here too, although it can be misinterpreted – there are telling signs that English isn’t the developer’s first language, including a paragraph of untranslated text.
Bem Feito is less of a game in a typical sense and more of an experience. An interactive twisted tale, if you will. For the most part, I felt like a passenger rather than a participant – something that left me feeling a little underwhelmed. Couple this with the £12.99 price tag (£13.49 on Switch), and you’re left with something that leaves a slightly sour taste. If you’re intrigued by what Bem Feito has to offer, by all means jump in and keep Reginaldo company for an hour or two. Just be sure you know what you’re getting into.
QUByte Interactive’s Bem Feito is out now on all formats. Developed by oiCabie.