From Press Play comes one of the very first indie games to arrive on Microsoft’s next generation console.
But let me get something straight right away, this game is not for everyone. And why do I say this? Contrary to what most people think, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is NOT a platform based game, is more about resolving puzzles than actual jumping and running.
I rather explain this game as a puzzle game that features some platform elements from time to time, usually there’s some platforming moments after two or three puzzles. But first things come first, so allow me to talk a bit about the story before we dig into both gameplay and technical details.
Max has just arrived from school and the first thing he does once he steps inside the house is going directly to the computer and search online for a way to get rid of his young brother, after reading a poem a portal appears in their room and a hand kidnaps his younger brother Felix (Disclaimer: Not our reviewer Miguel Felix lads!).
Max decides to jump into the portal and embarks on a quest to save his brother, on the way he’ll met new faces both friendly and not, but one character gives Max a magic marker that allows him to use the environment as a way to escape his foes and to overcoming problems that without the marker we otherwise couldn’t get over.
Now that I’ve explained the story it’s gameplay time, as I’ve stated before there’s two gameplay phases the platforming and the puzzling. As for the platforming one thing I have to really say is that it is a challenge, for the perfect timing of the jumps and the crouching, the game is sometimes hard but once you get the right timing especially for jumping you won’t miss any.
The timing of catching a rope midjump, of jumping towards the next rock when a bridge is falling or even when you’re in a hurry to run from something, timing is the most important aspect of the platforming in this game. There’s also some moments where you’re sliding down a cliff and if you can’t get the timing right you can be sure that you will die.
Now let’s get in detail regarding the puzzling parts of the game which is what most of the game is about. Early in the game Max gets a magic pen, this magic pen allows him to create platforms from environment to use as help for climbing and jumping.
Once Max gets the magic pen, he’ll able to use it lift rocks and create platforms from certain places that are enlighten by sparkles. The gameplay itself with the marker it’s the same thing all over again, but each time you meet a new puzzle the challenge bar of the puzzle grows, there’s some puzzles in the game where you have to completely stop and think or even write down a plan or an order.
This is one of the main reasons I don’t recommend this game to everyone, it is very challenging for a puzzle game and some people might get bored of it pretty soon. The game compensates the player with some humor after these challenging parts, either it’s a small cut scene or a small chit chat there’s humor in the game and it’s good!
Technically the game looks very detailed and impressive in the animation departement for an indie studio.
Running at 1080p and 60 frames per second The Curse of Brotherhood achives great graphics by combining the power of the Unity Engine alongside an art style which I must say that’s one of my favorites.
The art style although simple in both characters and backgrounds, shows a great amount of detail.
Press Play did again another great job with the animation. Both characters and objects are very fluid and you’ll quickly notice that the studio aimed for realism, what caught my eye was defintley the rope and the destruction of objects on which the physics reveal great detail.
What is quite disappointing is the debris of destructed objects quickly dissapear from the screen, one of the things that many games from the last generation dissapointed me by doing. I hope future next generation games try to keep the destructed debris on screen for a bit more time to keep the immersion going.
I encourage any puzzle game fan to try this game, but if you’re looking at a platform based game this is not for you. You will face many challenges in terms of puzzles and experience a story full of humor alongside a simple plot. The magic marker isn’t all that special but is fun to use it.…