Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was originally released back in the good old days of 2013 and was a sequel to Max & The Magic Marker. The game has now been given a physical release on the Switch and to be honest I couldn’t be happier for the little fella. Being a few years old, 5 years to be exact, can this great title still stand up for itself?
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is all set around a young boy named Max and his brother Felix. In the opening scene, which is graphically beautiful may I add, we see Max coming home to find Felix messing about in his room. Enraged by this, Max uses an online search engine funnily enough called ‘Giggle’ for advice on how to get rid of his annoying little brother. It is here that Max finds a website with a magic chant on it, upon reading a portal is opened and Felix is taken by an enormous troll-like creature. Max chases after Felix through the portal and finds himself in a strange world filled with puzzles, platforms, rope swings and of course enemies to scrap his way through.
The game is broken down into several chapters which, given the standards of games today, isn’t very much, so it wont take you too long to complete. Within these levels you have your standard running and jumping platform style gameplay. Jumping can be a little tricky from time to time but it is nothing major. The difficulty is not to the same levels as trying to jump in the remake of Crash Bandicoot, which brought countless hours of frustration to the table from the way the scenery was modelled. There are also a number of chase sequences throughout the game and they are executed brilliantly. Imagine Indiana Jones being chased by the boulder, except this time you view it side on and the boulder is replaced with the giant troll creature I mentioned earlier. It’s a nice touch and one that works well to mix things up a bit.
The most improved part of the game is the introduction of using the touchscreen to control Max’s magic marker that you find at the end of the first chapter. You can however use the analog stick on the switch to move it round, but using the touchscreen is a damn sight easier in all honesty. The magic marker is used to solve various puzzles throughout the game mainly by using it to raise platforms from the ground or erasing certain parts of the level so you can advance further. You can also use it as a command to draw branches and water spurts which you can use to propel yourself or objects. As you progress through the game the magic marker will unlock various new abilities for you to use but for the most part you mainly use it for branches and water spurts.
The puzzles come in all shapes and sizes which more than likely won’t give you too much trouble. One inclusion I did notice about the puzzles however is that none of the puzzles are the same. This is a great piece of design from the developers as with some puzzle games you may find yourself repeating the same thing over and over in a very monotonous cycle of boredom, which is not the case here.
Graphically, the game still stands up and the port to the Switch has been done with great attention to detail. There are a few times, especially during cut scenes, where the graphics can look a bit dated, but unless you really focus in on it then it is nothing to worry about. Baring in mind the game is now 5 years old, this is actually a success. However, there is still one standout issue with the graphics which was difficult for me to overlook; at numerous points within the game the camera will pan back to give you a wide shot of the land. It is at these points where the graphics take a turn for the worse as the level starts to look jagged and the frame rate starts to slow down making the game look choppy. It is not something that will affect you massively when playing, but it is something that was very noticeable.