Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Pilot Brothers is a bit of a quirky oddity, not least because of its origins. Originally a cartoon in the 1980s in the Soviet Union with a game being released in Russia in the late 1990s, it's no wonder that few people in the West will have heard of it. I'm quite a fan of European cartoons and this was the first I'd heard of it.
Despite the historical significance of such times, Pilot Brothers doesn't actually have much to do with Soviet Russia, instead focusing on two slightly inept detectives, the aforementioned Pilot Brothers, and their quest to track down a stolen elephant. Yes, pretty quirky.
The gameplay is similarly quirky, sometimes in the good way, often in the irritating way. With little narrative structure and no sign of dialogue, the game is mostly made up of completing individual scenes in order to get to the next one. Following typical point and click adventure traditions, these tend to involve finding keys or traversing obstacles. None of it is particularly imaginative but the solutions required are quite bizarre at times. Much like other adventure games of the 1990s, puzzles aren't necessarily solved in a predictable fashion, instead requiring some left field thinking and a dash of randomness.
This is exacerbated by the control system. Players control both of the detectives with a tap on either switching the dominant character. This can also happen accidentally when simply trying to move around which can get annoying. There's also an issue with making a mistake. If a character refuses to do something, they don't just stop what they're doing, a brief animation kicks in to explain it. At first, it's humorous but in time, it just feels like a nuisance slowing down progression.
It's not even like Pilot Brothers is a particularly long game, weighing in at a couple of hours, but such repetition grates quickly. Such problems leave Pilot Brothers feeling like a relic of the obtuse 1990s adventure genre, something that no one really wants to go back to.