For the most part little brothers are annoying, they get in your way, they want to be just like you and they always break the things you like. For Max, life is no different, if only there was a way to erase his brother Felix from his life and that’s where this story begins…
A quick search on the Internet reveals a magic spell to solve all of Max’s problems, little does Max know that it will actually work and cause his brother Felix to be snatched through a portal. Max realises he should probably do something about it and jumps through just in time to embark on adventure to save his brother from the evil Moustacho.
After a few minutes you will have mastered the simple controls and then the fun really begins. You’ll send get hold of your magic market that opens up a world of possibilities. Using the right trigger Max’s Marker will allow you to interact with the world to create columns of earth to help you reach platforms above you, vines to shimmy or swing across, as well as jets of water and even fire later on in the game. You can’t just draw anywhere and the game makes it fairly obvious where you can, even to the point where the different areas are colour coordinated so you always know what you will be drawing with your marker.
The puzzles start off fairly simple, but as time goes on you’ll need to start using some of those brains cells to help you get out of trouble. There is a nice mix of puzzles that range in difficulty. The simpler ones only involve using one power such as raising the earth to reach a platform while the more complicated ones can involve two or three at time. There are also plenty of chase sequences which require some precision jumping but ultimately lead to lots of deaths but when they are executed perfectly they look really impressive. My favourite puzzles came about halfway through the game and really showed off some impressive physics.
Although the platforming works really well the game isn’t without its faults. A lot of the mistakes I made in the game were due to the fact that the Xbox One controller doesn’t handle the drawing of some of the objects very well, especially when creating more complex items to help you on your way. It would have been a nice idea if you could use SmartGlass to draw items by hand or with a stylus but unfortunately we are stuck with the controller, it isn’t game-breaking but unfortunate in its execution.
As you make your way through the game Moustacho has his eyes on you, in fact 75 eyes. Thankfully you can make his life difficult by plucking them from all over the different levels. There are also broken parts of an amulet to collect as you travel. The pause menus helpfully shows you how many there are on each level and what you have or haven’t collected.
I’ve got this far into the review and I have haven’t even mentioned how good the game looks. Press Play have done a great job with the presentation of the game, All of the levels and their backdrops are really impressive, the water effects are great and the sound design is excellent too. The character design will appeal to children and adults, I spent time playing with my 5-year old who kept telling me it was a bit like Skylanders with all the powers you have. None of the enemies are particular scary so it’s an added bonus for the parents out there.
Despite the annoyances with trying to draw precisely with the Xbox One controller I’ve really enjoyed this game, considering I’m not all that great at platforms anyway. The puzzles are well thought out and were never too difficult and the presentation was excellent. For £11.99 it’s a great price for a great game, you’ll be able to get the family involved and there is a good chance they will all enjoy it. Press Play have made a solid start on the Xbox One and I look forward to seeing what they bring to the table next.
MLG Rating: 7/10 Format: Xbox One Release Date: 20/12/2013
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Max: Curse of the Brotherhood for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of 7 days on a Xbox One. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.