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Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 28 - 2017

Save your little brother from an alternate dimension, using nothing more than a spirit-infused marker pen. Or just leave him there…

 
Max has been around for a while now, popping up on most platforms. His first game involved a Magic Marker and was quite the hit on iOS. Then came The Curse of Brotherhood, which began life a few years back as an Xbox One/Xbox360 exclusive. Now, after quite some time, Flashbulb Games’ Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is available for PS4 gamers to enjoy, and will soon be coming to the Nintendo Switch. So, grab your marker pen, find some weird old woman to do some magic on it, and get ready to save your little bro.

 
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I am sure that all of us with younger siblings have at times been so exasperated with their antics that we have wanted to banish them to another dimension. Max, of Magic Marker fame, feels the same way. However, in his case, when his younger brother does actually get banished to another dimension and taken prisoner by some kind of evil entity, Max takes it upon himself to travel to this strange new world and rescue the obnoxious little tyke. Personally, I would have left him there.

 
What follows is a very nicely polished puzzle platformer in which Max will have to make his way through a variety of different environments and deal with all manner of obstacles to rescue the young sibling. The Curse of Brotherhood is a great looking game. It is obviously aimed at the younger gamer market, with a very cartoon-like aesthetic that uses plenty of simple bright colours. While it may not be exactly cutting edge in its graphical prowess, some of the textures can be a little muddy for example, the visuals really do set the scene for a great adventure.

 
And what an adventure it is! The Curse of Brotherhood will clock in at around 10 hours for the average gamer, spread across some seven chapters. The game is not especially difficult, although a couple of the puzzles will give reason to pause, but it introduces new mechanics and new problems at a rate that slowly ramps up the difficulty. The pacing is such that this gradual increase in difficulty is never an issue though, as the player improves along with the game.

 
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Players will spend most of their time making their way through the various levels at a leisurely pace, taking in everything the game has to show. The action may slow down at times while the player works out what to do or where to go, and then it may speed up during one of the games’ excellent chase scenes. It manages to keep things fresh by changing up the pace and offering both moments of thought along with twitchy, adrenaline-inducing high-speed pursuit requiring well-timed button presses.

 
The main mechanic that will come into play for both solving puzzles and overcoming enemies revolves around Max’s marker again. At the very beginning of the game, the humble pen becomes infused with the spirit of some mystical old lady, and this gives Max access to a variety of different elemental powers. To begin with, Max is able to raise pillars out of the earth in certain, marked places, allowing the player to progress through the levels. However, as the player works through the game, Max will unlock new ways to use the marker pen, such as to create vines or branches that can act as ropes, swings and bridges. Max will even be able to create fireballs or streams of water at certain points. These different abilities, and the ways in which they can interact, form the basis of both the games’ puzzles and the means to progress through the levels. Sometimes things can get a bit tricky, partly in working out what to do and partly down to timing, but there shouldn’t be anything too taxing for the average player. It is a nice mechanic and the level of difficulty is just right for a relaxing game session.

 
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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a great little game. It is nice to look at, includes an interesting mechanic for the player to work out, and is not frustratingly difficult, a common complaint with modern platformers. However, it is a game aimed at younger gamers, and that may put a lot of the more mature platform fans off. That being said, if you can get past the whole youthful overtones, and haven’t already played the game on one of the Xbox consoles, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a highly enjoyable puzzle platformer.

 

 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 



 

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