Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is released in a time where you can pretty much get everything on the internet, so it was no shock that Max managed to find a spell for getting rid of his little brother. I mean, his brother was playing with his toys and making a mess. What a weirdo! In the process, he was taken into a third dimension by some gigantic furry monster and gripped in his big muscular hands. The story here is to save your brother by chasing him and the big old monster.
The gameplay is quite simple. Similar to Inside, your aim is to go from left to right by jumping, climbing, swinging and evading. However, shortly into the game, you gain the power to draw and create with a pencil empowered with magic. This reminded me of the 2001 cartoon series, Harold and the Purple Crayon, based on the 1959 film. Suggesting that does elude to my thoughts that this game is definitely best placed as a kid’s game: it doesn’t involve much skill, nor does it involve any shooting. The enemies you encounter are more a nuisance than any real danger. Instead of attacking them (apart from pulling the eyes out), your main aim is to avoid and evade.
The buttons are precise on the Switch if the console is either docked or when being played in handheld. Of course, Max is presented with some object hurdles on his journey. He has to use his pen, as well as some sharp thinking, to find the correct route, but at no point did I get too frustrated. The puzzles are easy enough, but will present a challenge (at times). Swinging from rope to rope could feel a little clunky and was the cause of my death a number of times, but I think that is because I wasn’t very good at it, rather than there being any particular issue.
The trick to Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is that even though it plays like a 2D platform game, it looks like a 3D platformer. So many times I found myself trying to press a button on the D-pad which would make me step towards my person. So many times, it failed. Max encompasses a lot of charm with how it looks. Some people would classify it as cartoonish or cute, but I see it as classy. The colours vary from light to dark and stand out on the screen. No matter how great both the backgrounds and the foregrounds look, Max’s orange hair stands out a treat. It is obviously a source of his power, and clearly the reason why he isn’t in deep shock with his brother being taken into a different realm. The scenario becomes a little samey over the course of your surprisingly longer than expected 7-hour journey, but always looks sharp and solid.
It is expected that you will get a little vexed with the sounds Max makes when he jumps, falls, slips, slides and just generally exists. Saying that, every time you hear the characters speak, it oozes class and is very well voice acted. Unfortunately, the music and the in-game sounds don’t quite match. The music, which pretty much plays throughout your journey, seems to hasten and slow randomly. It is mainly a piano score and doesn’t overpower the eerie sounds of the background, but just doesn’t seem to fit the action on the screen. As such, I just switched it low and played whilst watching things on TV or listened to my own music.
Overall, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is one of the better Indie games on the Switch. The Switch, itself, is smashing all kids of records set by Nintendo for a long time, and this is due to the games they are being able to bring to it. It’s been a while since I played a bad Switch game.
(DVDfever Dom adds: I don’t know how I missed this one before, but after seeing the style, and the comparison with the Xbox One, below, I’e got to get this on PS4 or Xbox One!)
- Developer: Wired Productions
- Publisher: Wired Productions
- Players: single-player
- HD options: up to 1080p
I have been a video game player since 1993 and a music fan since I can remember. I studied Film and Journalism at university and ended up becoming a Primary School teacher. Video games changed my life and sent me on the right track and have stayed with me ever since.