Max: The Curse of Brotherhood hit the Xbox One store on Friday. For some reason I thought I had read somewhere that it wouldn’t be out until early 2014 so I was pleasantly surprised to see the launch announcement Friday morning. After work was done, I was anxious to get home and sink my teeth into this quirky little title.
Max has a little brother named Felix and as far as little brothers go, he’s rather annoying. One this particular day, Max sought out a way to get rid of Felix on the internet by way of a spell. Felix is promptly whisked away to another world and Max jumps to his rescue armed with nothing more than a Magic Marker….No really, it’s just a plain old Magic Marker. When he meets an old woman who says she can help him, she imbues his Magic Marker with actual magical abilities.
The game itself is a 2.5D puzzle platformer with some unique gameplay elements. As Max runs through the various levels, he runs into a variety of obstacles which require the user to engage the Magic Marker to raise platforms, create vines or branches to climb or swing across, fire to blow up walls or water spouts to catapult Max to new areas. The puzzles are fun and rather clever. A few times I found myself pondering and trying solutions with no love. As it turns out, sometimes the most simple of solutions is in fact the right one and other times, it’s all about how precise you draw with that magic marker. A few times, it became apparent to me that my solution was correct, but my ability to draw the path with the thumbstick was the issue. The use of a stylus or maybe even a tablet would have made this exercise much less frustrating. Still, it wasn’t often I had these issues. I also had some extreme moments of frustration towards the end of the game when the drawing required both speed and precision to complete the task resulting in 10 or sometimes more deaths and re-attempts.
Graphically, Max:TCB is gorgeous. It feels like an interactive cartoon as you take Max on his adventure and it immediately drew me into the world. The colors are vibrant and worked perfectly with the feel and art direction.
All in all, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a fantastic title despite the frustrations I had at moments they certainly don’t handicap the game to any real degree. If you’re wondering what to get with some of your XboxOne points that Santa leaves in your stocking, this is a game that’s more than deserving of your time and money.
Feed Your Console gives Max: The Curse of Brotherhood an enthusiastic 8.5 out of 10.