Max - The Curse of Brotherhood

While at Microsoft’s special software showcase event following the happenings of Monday during the week of E3, I had the chance to go hands-on with a handful of interesting titles. Among them was Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

This title comes from Press Play, the developers behind the similarly starred Max and the Magic Marker. Max: The Curse of Brotherhood employs familiar marker mechanics, though not as liberally as its predecessor.

Complete with a wholly new art style, though the same Art Director is involved, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is a sidescrolling puzzle platformer about Max’s quest to find his little brother in a mystical land.

Players will navigate the space, based on what we saw in our demo, by spanning gaps, sliding down slopes and nabbing ledges. When those things won’t get you from point A to point B, you’ll whip out your marker in order to draw vines and branches from special places in the environment.

It’s with that mechanic that this game develops its unique set of puzzles. Drawing a vine in one place will let you climb and swing from a new vantage. You’ll then, perhaps, use your marker to draw a vine from another place and latch it onto a pile of earth. That’s the puzzle bit. The game turns into a bit of a platformer when you set upon spanning your freshly bridged gap.

The controls were a touch chunky in this build, so I did take some issue with navigating the space around me. I wanted to jump a bit sooner than I could, for instance, or dive down onto a tier below me without a hitch. Those didn’t always execute the way they should, though that might change with time.

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood will hit the Xbox 360 at “a later date,” according to the developer on hand. It will sell for 1200 Microsoft Points, a currency that can’t disappear fast enough for my liking.

As a fan of unique puzzle platformers, I’m keeping my eye on this one. You should too.