Game Title: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
Developed By: Stage Clear Studios
Published By: Stage Clear Studios
Released: December 21, 2017
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Platformer, Adventure, Puzzles
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Fantasy Violence, Mild Language
Number of Players: 1 Player
Thank you to Stage Clear Studios for giving me a review copy!
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is an exciting, puzzle, platformer. It has charming graphics that look great and tell a story of Max rescuing his brother from a strange land. If you like puzzles or even a decent platformer, then look no farther then this game.
The story starts with Max wishing for his annoying little brother, Felix, to be captured by some monster, and he gets more than what he bargained for. His only help in this adventure is a marker, as he sets out to correct the wrong, and save his brother from evil forces. As you go on your journey you will come across, desserts, forests, temples, and even bogs.
The main gameplay element is using your marker to draw things to aid you through a level. It is genuinely fun, taking out a marker and drawing a branch, or lifting the dirt above you. But once that novelty leaves, it becomes frustrating later. The platforming is great, and you will jump to ropes, rope to rope, off houses, etc. The jumping feels great and him moving around really is not the issue. The main issue is how clunky using the marker is with a joystick and buttons. You never feel like you’re in complete control of your drawing, as you usually only have a little ink at a time. You may die, or make mistakes, because you’re not fast enough at drawing something. In the later levels, you will have to draw multiple things and can get frustrating fast. This was more of an issue when the Switch was docked, and you had to use the controller. What made the game easier, and thus I preferred to play it, was in handheld mode. The developers added touch screen controls that make drawing much easier. Using a finger, instead of holding down a trigger button and guiding the maker with a joystick, is much easier. It is smart too. You just move your finger where you must draw, and erasing it is as simple as taping the creation you just made. This made the game more enjoyable for me and thank the developers for this addition.
The puzzles in the beginning of the game are easy enough. You may have a rock that has to roll down a slope, yet there are gaps. You then use your magic marker to fill in those gaps with a mound of dirt, so the ball can roll down easily. Later, you may need to draw a water spout that will shoot you up, then draw a rope to swing on, then draw some vines that you can land on and continue your journey. I won’t lie, there were a few times I was really stuck and had to look up how to proceed, though it wasn’t that often. There are chases that are genuinely thrilling and a blast to play through. There are collectibles as well, though you never are told why you are plucking eyes out. Secrets are also strewn about each level.
The graphics are top notch and look fantastic. It is made in that 2.5D aspect and works well for this platformer. It is bright and colorful, and the different worlds are all varied. On the Switch I never got any slowdown or lag, whether it was in handheld mode or docked. I felt that the touch screen was used brilliantly and tell you to play it that way as well.
Max and the Curse of Brotherhood is a gorgeous looking platformer. It will take you around seven to eight hours to complete. It is a shame that the controls on the docked mode suffer, but sure I am glad they added touch screen support to the Switch version. Anyone looking for a puzzle, platformer should hop on over to the eShop and hit that buy button.
Game Score: 80% Good!