Preview: Max grows up in The Curse of Brotherhood

March 28, 2013


Despite being acquired by Microsoft, Copenhagen-based Press Play isn’t abandoning the games it previously created. Its upcoming project, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, shares many of the concepts of its predecessor, but isn’t exactly following an identical formula.

What it is: The sequel to Max & the Magic Marker, a playful puzzle-platformer in which you use limited ink to draw things and help get to the end of the level. It takes the series in a more “mature” direction, with full 3D environments and less of a hand-drawn feel.

Why we’re excited: With a secure financial backing from Microsoft, Press Play should be able to fully realize the ideas it sets out to. Curse looks nice technically, and its puzzles, with limited places to use ink, set up more critical thinking and less brute force for solutions. The developers say they were inspired by games like Heart of Darkness, and wanted to emulate that cinematic presentation.

What we’re wondering: Will it retain the charm of the first game? The hand-drawn look and solution creativity were the best parts of Marker, and it’s gone here, with an Indiana Jones-like aesthetic and a focus on physics platforming. Also, the unintentional co-op of the first game, with one person controlling Max and the other using the marker, isn’t possible this time around without PC or Wii split control schemes.

Max & the Curse of Brotherhood is slated for release in the next few months exclusively on XBLA.