Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
Developer: Stage Clear Studios
Publisher: Stage Clear Studios
Platform: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch
Tested on: Nintendo Switch

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Switch) – Review

Site Score
8.3
Good: Fun for all ages
Bad: Timing can get frustrating
User Score
8.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Everyone that has a sibling knows what it’s like; one minute you hate one another the next you love each other. Maybe some of you have even thought about how it would be better if they’d just disappear. Well in Max: The Curse of Brotherhood this is exactly what Max thought about his brother. However, things don’t always go the way you want them to and Max ends up having to save the brother that he wanted gone in the first place. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is developed and published by Stage Clear Studios. We already had a chance to test the game on the PS4 and PC but this time we’re testing the game on the Nintendo Switch. So with our trusty Joy-Con’s in hand, we were excited to test our brotherly love.

Story

In Max: The Curse Of Brotherhood you play as Max, a young boy, who after coming home one day found his brother Felix playing with his toys. Felix was playing quite rough with Max his toys and even wrecking some. This annoyed Max quite greatly and he had enough. He decided to google how to make his brother disappear. His lucky guess ended him up with a spell which he immediately said out loud. He regretted it instantly as all of sudden a portal appears with a monster hand coming out of it that grabs his brother and pulls him in. Max jumps in after his brother as this is not what he had in mind when he wanted his brother to be gone.

When Max finally catches up to the monster another, this time flying, monster grabs his brother. Max then has to keep on traveling through the unknown land in search of his brother. Luckily he encounters a sweet old lady who helps him in his search. The story is quite fluent and simple. Instead of a “save the girl” story it is now “save your brother” which is a nice change.

Graphics

The game has a fun art style that has a bit of a cartoonish tint to it as well. All the characters have a nice quirky design with the evil villain standing out more. When the characters talk, their mouth looks a bit weird, other than that the animations are pretty fluent. The monster you encounter looks pretty big and creepy but the little evil dudes look pretty stupid, which they are, even though they are still deadly. More natural critters are also present and these are well designed to fit in as if it’s their natural environment.

All the backgrounds are not overly detailed but still very well designed. Each chapter a different environment becomes the main subject. Sometimes it can be hard to tell in a background which parts you can jump on or which are just for “decoration”. In some lava parts, it’s also quite hard to tell when you can use the earth power since the color blends together with the lava.

Sound

Music in Max: The Curse of Brotherhood isn’t present a whole lot. It’s mostly fitting nature and background noises that you hear, Unless there is an exciting part or a cutscene then the music pops up for a bit.  Monsters make scary loud roars that instantly makes you want to run away. Creatures in the game make noises if they notice you which is handy to know so you can watch out. They sometimes also make noises to let you know they are present, which is a good thing since in the dark it’s quite hard to notice them sometimes. Voice acting in the game is pretty good. The voice actors did a good job to convey the characters’ feelings and make you believe the story.

Gameplay

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a puzzle platformer with a hint of adventure included. Max was annoyed at his brother and wanted him gone. However when his brother gets kidnapped by a monster coming out of a portal he instantly regrets that thought. He goes into the portal after his brother and ends up in some unknown land. While chasing after your brother you have to do the typical platformer things: jumping, climbing and avoiding cliffs. When you catch up to the monster holding your brother you see him get kidnapped by another, this time a flying monster. However, this is the last time you see that flying monster as it for some reason never appears in the game again. Mad that his brother got away and that he couldn’t do anything about it; Max throws a rock at the first monster. This was a huge mistake as the monster now focuses on Max.

Now the monster is actually chasing after you so you have to quickly make your jumps and go through the environment without falling or getting caught by the monster. Luckily once you get rid of the monster you encounter an oasis where you find a nice old lady. She says she will help Max find his brother if he helps her get rid of Mustacho. He is the one who is now holding Felix captive. To help Max on his journey, the old lady grants her soul to a random Magic marker Max had.

This Magic marker will help you immensely on your journey as it can make earth towers, branches, vines, water, and flames. All these things will help turn the usual platforming a bit more special. Max starts out with just the earth power inside the marker but as he discovers more of the unknown lands he also encounters temples that give him extra powers. Each time a new power gets added, it gets explained decently what things you can do with the power. Often you will encounter puzzles that make you think through on how to use the powers. Since the powers are all nature inspired they can also interact with each other. Vines can be attached to branches, water can push vines out of the way,.. Those interactions make it so even more interesting puzzles come up.

Of course, you can’t use your power just randomly. Specific spots mark where and what kind of power you can use. Each spot grants only a limited amount of ink for your marker. So for some, you can make tiny branches while for other spots you might be able to make bigger ones. This makes it so you have to think how to use the points correctly. After building something with your marker you can also destroy it. Some things even stay after being cut off from the spot. So you can use them somewhere away from the spot as well. There can be a small bug that if you drop a branch on Max that he suddenly bugs out a bit. He often slides off branches as well if you don’t pay attention. Sometimes you have to redraw something multiple times since you have the destroy the entire thing if you didn’t extend a branch long enough or didn’t make a vine swing the right way.

Since the Switch version of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood also has the touch screen available, you can use the touchscreen to use the marker. So if you use your finger or a touch pen you can actually shape the magic element. It might sometimes even be easier to just use the touchscreen. Of course, this isn’t a possibility if you use the switch in TV Mode. With the regular buttons, you press ZR to start using the marker. Of course, the marker then doesn’t appear exactly where you want it, so often when the timing is crucial you might panic and draw really crappy. If Max is running away or falling it ends quite deadly if you draw badly.

Conclusion

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a fun game with a story that tells about the struggles of brotherhood. This title is a game that could be enjoyed by all ages. The controls aren’t that hard and get explained quite well so they are easy to learn. Puzzles can get a bit harder but they are rewarding once you figure it out. Even though the concept is simple the game is entertaining and worth its price. So if you enjoy puzzling and platforming then maybe Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is the game for you.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Switch) - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! ? -student multimedia-

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