Max: The Curse of Brotherhood - Xbox One

Release Date:

December 20, 2013

Also on:

Xbox One PS4 Switch

Viewing USA:

Also on UK.
7.3

Summary:

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a classic action-adventure. At its core it is a platformer filled with puzzles. Max must start on a quest to save his brother who is kidnapped to a hostile world. His only chance to succeed is to stay courageous and use the powers of his marker to manipulate the environment.  Players will be able to unleash the many powers of the Marker and beat the evil kidnapper.

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Details

  • Developer(s):
    • Press Play
  • Publisher(s):
    • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Release Date(s):
    • December 20, 2013
  • ESRB Rating:
    • Everyone 10
  • Player(s):
    • 1
  • Online Player(s):
    • N/A

Technical Information

  • Required Disc Space:
    • 2.96GB Minimum
  • Supported Video Output:
    • 1080p
  • Engine:
    • Unity
  • Game Format:
    • Digital Download
  • Average Playing Time:
    • 12 Hours
avatar name

Posted:
2015-07-16

Steven_Shaw

Writer

Xbox One

7.2

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood for the Xbox One is the flagship title for the indie game developing company known as Press Play. This side scrolling platformer/puzzle game mixes up a gorgeous blend of wonderful graphics, stimulating gameplay elements, and a seemingly genuine love for the craft. The team put it all on the line in what is already a crowded platformer. We downloaded a digital copy so that we could give the game a run for its money on our Xbox One. Keep on reading to see if you will be adding this platformer to your collection any time soon.

Right off the bat it is worth point out that the platformer genre has become over saturated due to an influx in independent developers. For most of us gamers, at least those 20 years old and older, platformers are the bread and butter that we first dominated in our youth. Platforming games go back so far with classics like Mario spearheading the front. So that is why that indie teams go after the genre: it is familiar and likely to sell a few copies. Unfortunately this means that many teams lack the eyes on innovation that you need in a crowded field. Now, having said that, let’s continue.

Max is your typical older brother. He loves his younger brother but he gets annoyed by him pretty easy. His younger brother Felix eventually gets to be too much and Max makes a huge mistake. In a reckless usage of the internet, which we’ve all been guilty of, Max scrums together a magical spell of 'banishment' that will rid him of Felix forever. So does he actually use it? You bet he does! In a flash the spell comes true and Felix is grabbed and pulled away into a magical land controlled by evil monsters. Immediately overcome with guilt, Max finds out that he has to rescue his brother himself. Armed with a magical marker, that is the pivotal gameplay element for Brotherhood, Max must traverse level after level, and puzzle after puzzle, in order to save the brother he took for granted.

So the set up of the game is interesting, compelling, and it actually tugs a little bit at our heart strings. Sure, 'fetch your loved one' isn’t exactly a new idea but it definitely works here because the trope is subverted by using two children as the primary characters. Looking past the story let’s dive into the gameplay and discuss a certain magical marker.

We talked above about how platformers need to innovate if they want to stay fresh and become successful and thankfully Max: The Curse of Brotherhood makes good on this. Utilizing the marker becomes the core tenant by which you push forward in this game. Your magic marker extends as if from God’s own hand and it helps pave the way for Max as he hastily jumps from section to section or puzzle to puzzle. With the marker you can move the Earth around by lifting up platforms and lowering them. You can also manipulate puzzles, prevent Max from falling to his doom, and even create new ladders or traveling mechanisms to continue forward.

The platforming element to the game is strong as Max is constantly tested to move forward. The platforming puzzles themselves are never too impossibly difficult, and rarely ever cheap, but they work well thanks to the tight controls in the game. Utilizing the marker as your engine, the gear that keeps the wheel turning, was a smart decision and it is something that the team at Press Play could have easily, sadly, skipped.

Despite the fact that you will die often in The Curse of Brotherhood, the game rarely ever feels cheap. Like a Pixar movie, The Curse of Brotherhood invites you into its cartoon-y and semi-realistic world with open arms. The puzzles and platforms that you have to traverse punish you harshly for mismanaging them but a dearth of save points and unlimited lives prevent you from ever growing too frustrated over that fact. Trial and error is definitely something that you need to get used to when playing Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

So while the heart of the title is platform sections and puzzle breaks, there is still much more going on at hand. You will run into various enemies that challenge you and you must nimbly work your way around them in order to survive going forward. This isn’t a violent game and combat is rarely ever the right answer. Max is a little kid, after all. Instead your primary focus will be on avoidance and neutralizing your enemies. Some of the most intense moments occur when you are being chased across a rapidly deteriorating level. It definitely gets your heart going a little bit and we found our sweaty handed grip on the controller the ultimate complement that we could pay the game.

Looking past the gameplay elements for a moment we need to appreciate the sheer beauty of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. The game itself is a 2D platformer but the visual elements are all pseudo-3D. The textures and details that went into rendering and bringing to life all of these different levels really showcases how hard Press Play worked at everything. One of my silly 'graphical tests' is to look at something simple, like the grass, to see how well the team did with it. Down to the smallest detail and the tiniest pixel, the team at Press Play succeeded.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a platforming game designed to keep you entertained and pushing forward. While there are tons of puzzle sections, you should never feel overwhelmed by what is going on, on screen. Instead you should be able to lean back and really just enjoy what is going on in your adventure. There are moments of gorgeous cinematography, riveting action, and brain cramping puzzles.

We strongly suggest this Xbox One game to any fans of indie developers with a focus on platforming action.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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Jul 16, 2015
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By:

Microsoft Game Studios

Release Date:

December 20, 2013

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