Max: The Curse of Brotherhood makes its PlayStation debut almost 4 years after it was originally released. It is a sequel to Max & the Magic Marker a 2D side scrolling platformer where physics were key to solving traversal puzzles. The sequel is finally, out on PS4, but does it add anything new or will it feel dated?
The premise is quite simple. Max is annoyed with his younger brother Felix who is playing with his toys without his permission, and out of frustration searches the internet for an incantation to get rid of him once and for all. The problem is, it actually works. A portal opens up and Felix is grabbed by an evil creature. Max instantly regrets his actions and his “big brother switch” is triggered and throws himself into the portal in pursuit of his sibling. You soon find Mr Mustacho is behind all of this and you will stop at nothing to get to him.
The first thing you will notice is the game is in 3D. However, you still traverse on a two-dimensional plane aka 2.5D. The graphics are very simple and look last generation. Also, gone is the marker as you knew it. You no longer draw lines to create bridges, this time your marker has different colours that can affect the world around it. From raising platforms to creating vines and branches. It is very simple at first, but when each additional power is added, it makes the game much more complex. There is a bit of a let-down, as you can only draw these objects in the allocated places. Possibly done so that you don’t spend an eternity trying to figure it out, but it doesn’t feel as special.
The main goal is to get from one side of the level to the other. Avoid enemies, pitfalls and using the powers you are given to your advantage. It is quite fun, but can get a bit repetitive. The gameplay also took a little getting used to. Namely the jumping and grabbing vines mechanic. Typically for most games you hold “X” to jump and release when you land, however, in this game if you hold X when jumping and grabbing a vine, Max immediately let’s go of it, and I had to train myself to stop doing that.
Other minor niggles is the lack of audio synchronisation with the opening movie. It looked like it was dubbed, simply not acceptable for a game in this day and age.
There are about 20 levels, and each on is substantial. They all feel quite different, particularly the ones in the beginning. Some of the puzzles make you feel really clever for figuring them out, and others are stupidly simple. Although the former is greater thankfully. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is an interesting game with hints of “Trine” but in a Saturday morning cartoon art style. It will keep you busy for around 6 hours and the majority is entertaining.
- Replay Value