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Brothers Review (XBLA)

Brothers - Bridge

What is Brothers

A low-key adventure with a mind-bending control scheme

Is it fun?

Yes, in a relaxing and beautiful way.

Is it worth £9.99?

Yes.

Why?

Brothers is rooted in collaboration and, as you might expect from the title, family. You play two brothers on a journey across the land to seek a cure for their father. The mind-bending part is that you control both of them, simultaneously. The right stick and trigger control the younger brother while the left stick and trigger control the elder. This is nice and easy until you cross them over and have the brothers on the wrong side of the screen, but it never becomes a problem.

Naya, the blonde one, is more mischievous. He can slip through bars that Nayi, his older, dark-haired brother, can’t reach but being smaller, he can’t pull levers that Nayi can. Within these limitations, they need to help each other scale walls, carry objects and overcome obstacles.

The puzzles tend to be on the easy side, which makes this more a story-driven adventure than a traditional puzzler. Instead, game director Josef Fares has filled the game with incredible visuals, which you might expect from a filmmaker. He’s also strewn it with optional tasks that connect the brothers to the world around them. There’s a girl bouncing a ball. Grab it and throw it through the hoop. Here’s a bird in a cage. Set it free. Or don’t. None of these are particularly deep tasks. They’re incidentals alongside your quest but every one of them helps set the tone for your brothers.

You’ll start out in your village, an autumnal version of the Shire in many ways. Brothers is a short game and simple game that lets you glimpse the wider world but never really explores it. Even so, it’s deep enough to evoke real emotions towards the brothers and their journey. At the end of it all – I won’t spoil things but the message really hit home for me. You should play it.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is out now on PC (better played with a controller), XBLA and PSN

Brothers - Troll

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