Game: Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons
Genre: Adventure puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on all other consoles and mobile)
Developer/ Publisher: Starbreeze Studios| 505 Games
Age Rating: USA: Teen| Eu 16+
Price: €14,99| $14.99 | £ 9.99
Release Date: 28th May 2019
No review code used, I bought the game myself
Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons is an adventure game that is very much about the storyline and inventive puzzles. No fighting, instead marvel at the wonders the brothers see and get your hanky out.
Grievous circumstances for the brothers
From the start, you realize something is amiss in the world of the two brothers. After all, one of the boys called Naiee is standing at the grave of his dead mother. In a little clip you see she drowned at sea while he was unable to save her. His older brother, Naia, calls him to help their ill father reach the village’s doctor, who in turn tells them the only way to save him is by collecting the waters from the Tree of Life. This is the beginning of the grand adventure.
On their quest they meet all kinds: a local bully, a farmer’s aggressive dog and deadly wolves. But they also help others along the way – reuniting a friendly pair of trolls, saving a man attempting suicide, and aiding an inventor.
Have you ever played the GameCube game The Hobbit? Of course, the story of The Hobbit is well known and different from this game. But in essence, the gameplay is of the same kind. Embark on a great adventure!
The controls pose the main challenge
The game is all about solving puzzles to get from A to B. The boys meet many different sorts of obstacles on their way, and it’s your job to help them sort it out. What makes it huge fun is that both brothers are controlled by a different joycon. A great idea to play with a friend, each controlling one of the Brothers. But also good fun to play alone.
Have you ever been challenged to pat your head with one hand while making circles on your belly with the other hand? That’s the feeling I had at first, controlling big brother on the left controller and little brother on the right one. And as almost every puzzle depends on them working together. That was my greatest challenge.
By the time I had reached a point where it got to be a bit more familiar, the more intricate assignments presented itself. Try moving a steel beam through a maze of obstacles while working the two controllers simultaneously. It made me feel like moving a table or other large object through my house with my husband. Each at one end, Giving directions. Left, left….more to the right! Back up, I can’t make the turn! Anyway, you get the picture. I got there in the end.
Beautiful surroundings hide a grim world
The story isn’t exactly told, as there’s no spoken word in the game. You deduce it from memories you see and the way the characters act. The only words you’ll hear is the boys calling each other by name. There is background sound in the game, but not exactly a soundtrack.
The gameplay is flawless, and at times handling the controllers is intense. I’m not one to play games were I have to make button combinations quickly, be very agile with my hands. Brothers is the first game that gave me a cramp in my hands, but what a special way to solve puzzles!
I do understand why the game is rated Teen. The beautiful visuals hide a sometimes very cruel world. You’ll have to see for yourself though, as I would give away too much of the plot giving examples.
An emotional journey
Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons isn’t a long game, I finished it in three hours. The puzzles are good, the visuals beautiful and the game controls work flawless. But the part that will always stay with me is the story.
Controlling both brothers with a different joycon is a big part of the challenge, and I can imagine playing with someone else and each manning a joycon is huge fun.
With all of this in consideration I will gladly give this game an I Like it a Lot!