Quantcast
Max: Curse of Brotherhood should prove an endearing romp - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


Max: The Curse of Brotherhood  




Max: Curse of Brotherhood should prove an endearing romp photo
Max: Curse of Brotherhood should prove an endearing romp

1:00 PM on 12.19.2013

Fitting for this, the year of Luigi


I quite liked the first Max and the Magic Marker. It was a cute little 2D game that let me draw things and crush enemies with them. I was surprised to hear of a sequel, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, especially as one of the only smaller games Microsoft trumped up at its E3 conference this year.

Of course, this isn't exactly a small game. In fact, it's practically an entirely different game, and not just because of the jump to 3D graphics. Gone are your freewheeling drawing powers, replaced by a series of contextually based drawing puzzles.

There's also a villain that looks like a cross between Destructoid's Conrad Zimmerman and some sort of decrepit slug monster.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Xbox One [previewed], Xbox 360)
Developer: Press Play
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: December 20, 2013 (Xbox One)

Max opens with a clatymation-esque suburban facade. As Max skips steps up to his room, rendered in a more traditional 3D, he finds his younger brother being a nuisance, as younger brothers are wont to do. After Google-ing up a spell to make his brother scram, an otherworldly dimension rips open in the bedroom and his brother is yanked in.

What a little shit Max is. This is why you need to be nice to your siblings.

Realizing he messed up big, Max jumps in after him, ending up in an arid landscape while his brother is being carted off by a giant.

Unable to catch up, Max begins exploring this strange world. When he comes upon a gigantic tree in the forest, the camera pans out as he approaches, to the point where you can barely see Max's silhouette running forward. It's a really cool shot -- pulling wide helps show off the scope of the world that features a lot more personality than the first game's simpler design.

After climbing the tree, Max meets an old woman who tells him about the Conrad slug of a villain, Mustacho, using sock puppets. Then she dies. Her soul infuses itself into Max's trusty marker, at which point the whole tree comes crashing down. It's a marvel Max didn't die, too. Thanks for the warning, lady.

With this new marker, Max can interact with the environment in different ways. To begin, you can raise and destroy rocky platforms by holding the trigger to pull the marker out, bringing it towards applicable glowing areas, and drawing up.

It's simple and a far cry from the loose cannon drawing of the original game -- no more drawing middle finger platforms. This opens up more specific and tightly designed puzzle opportunities, particularly as your repertoire of powers grows and you begin linking them in unison. For example, drawing a tree branch, attaching a vine to it, cutting the tree branch to start it tumbling down, then cutting the vine at the right point in is forward momentum that the branch lands flush on some rocks and can be used as a platform.

It's less abstract than drawing ethereal orange structures and a little more intuitive as you can expect how the various materials will behave. The biggest criticism from the first game that the team took to heart was repetition, hence the addition of new powers that get introduced incrementally as you traverse several distinct areas in your quest to rescue your brother. There's more focus, evidenced by the more structured puzzle elements that marry with the existing platforming and enemy avoidance.

You can also pluck out little eyeball security cameras, the game's collectables, and watch the cute animation as Max wrangles them out of the ground.

At $15, it's nice to see some smaller fare finally hit Xbox One and supplement the launch lineup. The originally planned 360 version is still coming out, too, at a later date. Which ever your preference, Max should prove a fun little adventure.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood



6:30 PM on 05.21.2014
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood makes it to PC and Xbox 360

Press Play's puzzle-platformer Max: The Curse of Brotherhood has only now released on Xbox 360 and Steam. My interest in the game has certainly dwindled since its Xbox One debut back in December, but there's a reason it'...more



9:00 AM on 03.18.2014
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is coming to the 360 in April

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood served as another great early exclusive in the Xbox One's lifecycle, but it's also heading to the 360 soon, Phil Spencer has confirmed. No price has been confirmed, but it'll arrive on the Xbox 3...more



2:00 PM on 12.29.2013
Review: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

As the eldest of three, there have been more than a few occasions in my life where I wished my siblings would just disappear. Whether it was from them breaking my things; disrupting my privacy; or as I grew older, the embar...more



12:15 PM on 12.19.2013
Xbox One gets Max: The Curse of Brotherhood tomorrow

The more I think back to what I've played of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, the more I want to try the platformer again. To best it. The game was unexpectedly challenging in a good way. It's getting something of a surprise re...more



10:45 AM on 09.04.2013
I want to marathon Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

I've heard a fair bit about Max: The Curse of Brotherhood this year. This spiritual successor to Max and the Magic Marker sounded great, but it somehow was just off my radar, lost in the shuffle among the new games and consol...more



1:15 PM on 06.14.2013
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood shows promise

A spiritual successor to Max and the Magic Marker, Press Play's Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was about what I expected in terms of platforming. While the handling is a bit loose, I will say the magical marker itself co...more



1:42 PM on 06.10.2013
Max: Curse of Brotherhood has doodling and platforming

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, the sequel to the puzzle platformer Max and the Magic Marker, had some gameplay footage to show off today at E3. After wishing his annoying sibling away, Max must embark on a doodling adve...more



2:15 PM on 03.18.2013
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood looks surprisingly great

I can't say I've ever bothered to play Max and the Magic Marker, but with a completely different art style, this Xbox Live Arcade-exclusive spiritual successor looks hard to resist. If you're into games like Trine, you shoul...more




Platform games

3:30 PM on 09.11.2014
Adventure Time Game Wizard has a pretty cool level editor

There's a new game coming out based on everybody's favorite television show, Adventure Time! You know what that means right? Go on and grab your friends, because we're going to some very distant la---actually, you might want ...more



5:30 PM on 09.10.2014
Nicalis kicked my ass again with Castle in the Darkness

After checking out The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth at PAX Prime, I spent a decent chunk of time with another upcoming Nicalis project, Castle in the Darkness. It's a challenging platform-adventure PC game that feels all too app...more



5:00 PM on 09.10.2014
Joylancer, the love letter to the Game Boy, will hit Early Access in October 26th

[Update: the Steam listing page is live right now.] Joylancer has been on my radar for quite a while now. It's an independent production that seeks to recreate the great feeling of the Game Boy era, with a solid platforming ...more



View all Platform games






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more