Release Date: 9/3/2013
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Brothers is about two boys who travel across their land to find a magic sap from a very special tree. They need this sap to heal their father who has come down with a life-threatening illness. That’s pretty much all there is to the story. However, that’s not the touching part. Brothers don’t really start hitting your feelings until the end. Brothers have a unique gameplay mechanic where you control each brother with an analog stick. It takes some getting used to, and you never completely get used to it, but using both brothers at the same time is a unique way to play a game.
The game consists of simple puzzles. They aren’t anything complicated and don’t take much thinking to figure out. Some puzzles only certain brothers can solve. There may be a gate that the smaller brother can squeeze through so he can lower a bridge for the bigger brother. Sometimes they have to work side by side such as in water. The smaller brother can’t swim so he needs to hold onto the older brother. The only other buttons you use are the triggers. One assigned to each brother for grabbing stuff.
There are some boss fights in the game which are a lot of fun. One early on consists of fighting a troll. The little brother needs to lure him into a cage while the older brother closes it with a lever nearby. There’s only one way in so the little brother has to slip through bars to escape. It’s moments like this that make Brothers shine and make you smile. Later on, in the game, it gets darker and grimmer. Puzzles involve dismembering dead corpses of giants. The gameplay ideas change throughout the game like when they have a rope tied to each other and you use it to swing each other around cliffs. The game feels like a grand adventure, but it’s short-lived. You can beat it in 4 short hours wanting so much more.
The game looks really good, while not technically impressive the art style is great and the game has many beautiful vistas. The story is lacking any depth, but it’s the adventure that counts here. If you have a free evening of gaming, Brothers is one of the best indie games you can buy this year.