Developed By: Starbreeze Studios
May 28, 2019
Reviewed on Switch
I had never played Brothers, It seems like my type of game, one with a heart and a story to tell but for whatever reason, it passed me by, which is strange considering it’s been ported to every known console I can think of. So when I got my hands on this game for the first time, I was entirely swept up into its pace and world. You’re meant to put the story together with your self — these two boys on their own making a journey across a not so ordinary fantasy world.
Along the way, you have to traverse puzzles and enemies much like any other adventure game, but the twist is that you control both brothers at the same time — one with the left stick and the other with the right. Usually when I try out a new game it has a learning curve to get the motions and controls down, but eventually I learn and adapt, but in this case, this style of game is so foreign to me that I still have issues with it sometimes. Now that’s not to take away from the game itself. Those troubles are part of the puzzles. If this were a one person game, it wouldn’t even be a game, just a walking simulator.
Turning levers and climbing walls takes on new complexity when you’re trying to maneuver each brother to the next area with both trigger buttons or sticks being used at the same time in different directions. There isn’t a lot of input other than the grab and move buttons, but I can’t imagine the kind of hand pain you would develop if the game were more complicated. Kudos to Starbreeze for making a new type of gameplay without cramping your hands at the same time.
Learning new control schemes isn’t the other part of this game, though. Following these kids who don’t speak can be a tough hill to climb when you’re looking for exciting protagonists, but these boys do just enough to want you to root for them and protect one another. It’s a subtle push that isn’t easy to pull off. Either you end up being bored with them, or you find their grunts and exclamations annoying, and neither of those is the case. Even small things like setting a barking dog to lose on a kid whos bullying them as the game opens is a sweet story beat to show you the world they live in. It’s certainly not modern day, but It’s also not necessarily mid-evil. It’s somewhere in-between and filled with wonder and magic. from the kind troll who helps you through the mountains to the stray wolves kept away by your torchlight.
As with any game the deeper you go, the more complex the puzzles and obstacles get but in this case they always feel manageable within the simple rules of the game. boss fights consist of things like trapping an angry troll but to do that you’ll need to use both brothers to do so. ultimately Brothers is a really sweet game that relies on its cool game mechanic and it doesn’t overstay its welcome when it comes to run time. and being on the Switch makes this fun game portable.
-Some Inventive Puzzles
-Sometimes too easy
Final score: 8.7/10