Developer: 3D Attack Interactive
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

TheOtherBrothers-02The Other Brothers is immediately appealing, which belies its true nature. First, it’s a take on the classic Super Mario Bros. formula, which everyone and their mother knows, of course. It’s a sort of post-modern take on it, adding in a touch of grimy realism to the formula, while still having the head-stomping that game popularized as the preferred way to dispatch of anyone.

Then there’s the pixel art. It’s incredibly detailed, and just impressive to look at. This is a game that shows its retro influences, but adds plenty of detailed animation and art to look like a moving piece of art. It’s a great-looking game.

So where does it all go wrong? Well, start with the controls. They use a strange combination of a d-pad with floating joystick, and it winds up being a sour combo: the actual direction that the player will go is not always the way that the player expects. The update text right now indicates that a fixed d-pad and iCade controls are on the way, but it’s too little, too late.

TheOtherBrothers-10Now, I’ve played games with poor controls that are good otherwise, but unfortunately they’re just a bad omen for the unappealing gameplay. The platforming just isn’t much fun. Bouncing on enemies’ heads is just weird because they have a small area to actually hit, but it leads to annoying situations where an enemy will be bounced on, but then they’ll attack the player and do damage to them. Now, players have a system more akin to ring collection from the Sonic series, which is done by collecting doves, but it’s hard to tell when players have doves because they aren’t actually collected, they just kind of fly away. It’s the kind of unsatisfying feeling that permeates this game.

Everything just comes together to make this game so unsatisfying to playand to keep playing. I wanted to keep going at it, to see if it got better, but I just wanted to throw it down in frustration. It’s just a shame because so much clearly went into the game’s look, but it’s just so annoying to actually play. Stick with the original brothers.

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