Max The Curse Of Brotherhood is a puzzle platformer developed by indie studio Press Play. It was published by Flashbulb Games and Microsoft Game Studios for Consoles, PC, and iOS devices in 2013.
Do you have a sibling that sometimes you would just love to get rid of? Maybe younger. Maybe older? Well this is exactly what Max did one day. He saw his little brother being annoying, so he went on “Giggle” and searched “how do I get rid of my brother”. Next thing you know he’s casting an evil incantation that rips a portal between dimensions open, and a hand comes out and snatches his brother. Without thinking, Max leaps into action and through the portal after his brother.
Unfortunately for Max’s brother, there’s an evil fellow called Mr Mustacho, who wants to steal his body so that he can ravage the land for many more years to come! On his adventures Max finds a lady who tells him the tale that she once tried to free the land from Mustacho, but failed. So she transforms into a magic marker to help Max traverse the land.
The game isn’t really held up by its story. As it’s very thin, but for what was there, it was really enjoyable. Even if it was a stereotypical “brotherly love” story by the end of the day. I do wish there was some more silly writing in it, especially between Max and the old lady, as they build a small little relationship.
The game really surprised me. I expected a basic platformer in the vein of a Super Mario clone. But what I got was a little more fleshed out. Turns out it ended up being a puzzle platformer. As you go through the levels in the game you get more abilities for your marker, which allow you to get around obstacles. From being able to create water geysers, to making branching, to making vines to swing on! Eventually the puzzles get so wild you have to combine everything.
The platforming kind of plays like an old school cinematic game. Think “Another World” or “Heart Of Darkness”. Where the platforming can be gruelling, and you need to figure out the timing of everything just to get by. It really helped build the game up to being something that I had to focus on getting through, as opposed to turning my brain off and just blazing through it. Now and again you do happen to find enemies throughout the game. Unfortunately you have to avoid this entirely, as opposed to outright killing them. Or if you do, you have to use puzzles to do so until late in the game.
If there is one thing that’s really annoying about the game though, is that some puzzles require pinpoint accuracy. So if you need to connect a vine to a branch you made, to be able to cross a gap, the branch has to be made at the exact angle. If not, you need to remake it so that the vine length will reach it. Even swinging on vines now and again just won’t work. You could have perfect momentum, then when you jump, you don’t make it. Maybe I just didn’t jump at the proper angle the few times this happened. Who knows.
- Fun Gameplay
- Great Levels
- Fun Powers
- Shallow Story
- Can’t Kill Enemies Until Late Game
- Puzzles Need Pinpoint Accuracy
Though I wish the story was a bit more deep, the gameplay absolutely made up for it. Even if I died a few more times than I ever expected, and some puzzles were annoying when they needed to be exact. For a puzzle platformer this kept me engaged the whole time and I can’t recommend it enough!
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Press Play
Publisher Website: Flashbulb Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £12.99/€14.99 Europe / $14.99 North America
Trophy Information: 28. 1 / 6 / 12 / 9
Images – https://www.igdb.com/