Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons shows a strange journey taken by two siblings, but the story can't make up for a lack of content and a high price tag.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an adventure game that was first released in 2013 and has been ported to numerous systems since then. The time has arrived for the game to grace the Nintendo Switch, where it comes with some new features that are chained to the same game from six years ago.
The story of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons involves two brothers named Naiee and Naia, who must embark on a dangerous journey to collect water from the Tree of Life, as that is the only thing that can save the life of their ailing father. The main gimmick of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is that the player controls both brothers at the same time, with each mapped to a different joystick and set of shoulder buttons.
The two brothers have different attributes, with Naia (the elder brother) being the stronger of the two, which allows him to pull levers that his sibling cannot move, while Naiee's small size allows him to squeeze into areas that Naia can't enter. The player must learn how to control both brothers at the same time in order to solve puzzles and dodge hazards, as they venture through a fantasy world and encounter strange (and often aggressive) creatures. The story of the two brothers is the main draw of the game and if they succeed in making the player care about their journey, then they will make Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons a worthy purchase.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons doesn't offer much in the way of challenge, as the vast majority of the puzzles in the game revolve around timing and require the player to use one brother to perform an action to open a path that will allow the other brother to proceed. Once the player adapts to the unconventional control scheme, then the puzzles become little more than a formality, which is a shame, as they form the bulk of the game. There are a few puzzles that require a little more thought, but there are only a few options available to the player at any time, so it's easy to quickly complete them through trial and error.
The main issue with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is its length, as there are only a few hours of content in the game, most of which is made up of filler. There are a few moments of genuine excitement (such as an encounter with an invisible giant who can only be seen by its footprints), but the majority of the game involves running across a single path through bland landscapes. The game also has little in the way of replay value, unless the player cares about completing the achievements (which can't even be shared online in the Nintendo Switch version of the game), as the story and puzzles are the same each time.
The graphics in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons have not aged well and many of the areas in the game (especially during the early portions) look bland and uninspired, with a few exceptions that offer moments of wonder between all of the dull grasslands and mountains. There is also an issue with shadows not appearing properly on the ground, which became especially noticeable during a section of the game where the player travels by boat. The soundtrack, by contrast, is one of the best parts of the game, as it switches effortlessly between epic and soaring to melancholy and haunting.
The port of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons to the Nintendo Switch is fine and there are no performance issues. The game works perfectly in handheld mode and the two Joy-Cons can be used to easily play the two-player mode. The two-player co-op mode is unique to the Nintendo Switch port of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and it might be the best reason to own this version of the game, as it gives players a chance to work through the simple timing puzzles with a friend, for as short as the experience lasts.
The Nintendo Switch version of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has a steep price tag for what is on offer. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons costs $14.99 at launch (with a 10% discount applied to those who pre-order the game), which is a lot to ask for a game that is only a few hours long, has a lot of filler, and has little replay value, especially as the smartphone ports of the game only cost a few dollars.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is the kind of game that would be perfect as a monthly giveaway on PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, as it offers a brief thrill that some players might find endearing, but it doesn't offer enough content to warrant its current price tag on Nintendo Switch. Those who have never played the game before would be better off waiting until the price drops to a couple of dollars during a future sale, as the product on offer is not worth what it is currently being asked.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons will be available for the Nintendo Switch on May 28, 2019. A digital code for the Nintendo Switch version of the game was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.