The act of purchasing a game without any expectations can often be a gamble, but as with any game of chance sometimes the payoff is well worth it. I picked up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons on a whim after reading a bit here and there about its core game mechanic, which I found very interesting - you control two brothers simultaneously using one of the Xbox 360’s joysticks, with each trigger serving as an action button for each brother as well. Immediately I thought of all the sweet, sweet puzzles that could be solved by utilizing two characters at the same time. I figured the $15 price tag would be worth it just for the brain tease alone.
So, I downloaded the game and embarked on one of the most surprisingly emotional journeys I’ve had the pleasure of playing this year.
The story of the game is pretty simple: two brothers find that their father is sick and are given a map in order to retrieve something that will save him. The best part about this story for me is that you kind of have to piece it together yourself. The language that the characters speak is not English, and I wasn’t able to tell if it was any modern language or if it was just made up entirely. Either way, it’s surprising how easy it is to pick up the story entirely from some head shakes and finger pointing.
Also included: a first-of-its-kind chicken and sheep party fun time!
The game itself is interesting, and surprisingly difficult at times due to the fact that your brain is not used to this kind of simultaneous problem solving. The mere act of getting the two characters to navigate a winding mountain path together can prove to be a challenge. I found that constantly muttering to myself, “Left stick, big brother. Right stick, little brother” may have made me sound like an insane person, but it definitely helped keep my head in check. However, it is extremely satisfying when you successfully navigate a puzzle without stopping to remember which boy belongs to each joystick or trigger.