So I finally got around to playing Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, a cartoon-styled puzzle/platform game from Danish developers Press Play on the Xbox One.
The game starts off by Max getting home to find that his brother Felix is basically being annoying. He goes online, reads out the first thing he comes across and accidentally opens up a portal to a weird monster world, which results in Felix getting kidnapped and you jumping in to save him.
Okay, so this game doesn’t have the best storyline ever. Much like a Princess being forever captured and requiring rescue – and we know how good those games still are! What matters here is the content, playability and visual style, which you’ll be pleased to know this game delivers on.
With platformers it’s crucial to get the handling just right. In areas of the game that require quick reflexes and and precision, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood always seems to respond accurately. There were a few times when I made a “leap of faith” and it really paid off. It was so refreshing to play something so responsive and intuitive.
As you can see from the game trailer above, this game has a really great art style. The graphics are very nice for the most part, experiencing no slow-down in frame rates or anything like that. The only thing is that some of the character models and textures can be a bit dodgy here and there. I found that the Granny character did look a bit like she should have been on the PS2 instead of an Xbox One.
In terms of gameplay, Max feels like a combination of Limbo and Mario, with an added mechanic of being able to draw platforms, vines, water spouts and other forms of navigation to get you through the world. You will die… a lot, but it doesn’t feel punishing. As I said earlier, the controls feel strong enough that it’s normally down to slow reflexes or just a case of learning a level. Much like a lot of the platformer games I used to play as a kid.
At times, creating these markers can feel a bit like they break the pace of the game, especially after a really fast and fluid action scene. It’s nothing too bad though and you get used to it. Sometimes it’s a welcome breather and a chance to use the brain a little bit more instead of purely reflexes. There are some great puzzle moments in this game and collectables that do feel rewarding to complete and obtain.
Overall, I feel this game is a worthy purchase. Priced at only £11.99 ($14.99/€14.99), it’s certainly good value for money. Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood features a great visual style, a fresh gameplay mechanic (in the form of magic markers), challenging puzzles and responsive enjoyable platforming.