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Pax Prime 2012: Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Hands On

At E3 this year, Microsoft announced a new downloadable title from Press Play, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Coming in Q1 of next year to both Xbox One and Xbox 360, Max is a sidescrolling physics puzzle-platformer designed to appeal to a wide variety of ages.

You play as Max, a red-headed kid with enough hair gel to kill an elephant, and your brother has been kidnapped into another dimension. As you make pursuit you quickly get some help from a witch who enchants your marker to help you along your journey.

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My hands on time with Max: The Curse of Brotherhood in a private hotel room only gave me a glimpse of the story, but what I really got out of it, was a good chunk of time to play through some levels. The marker mechanic is extremely clever. It can only be used in specific places, but its up to you how you use it, and how you solve the puzzles.

At first, you can only raise and lower pieces of earth, but later on, you are drawing tree branches, making water ways and more. It relies heavily on physics puzzles and solutions didn’t appear to be canned. There were several moments throughout the demo where I was able to solve a puzzle in ways they didn’t think I could, but that may be because I was just so awesome at it.

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The controls and puzzle mechanic are all very intuitive. It makes sense that you would draw a water jet to shoot a branch you drew across a gap to make a bridge. The gameplay focuses on what matter, there really isn’t combat to worry about, leaving you to focus on exploring and figuring out puzzles.

The games world is extremely varied from what I could see, with a unique beautiful art style. Even if the story seems a little below my age group (grown-ass adult) I will be purchasing this game and cannot wait to see how the rest of the game’s powers change things up. With the variety of puzzles and approaches, this is the kind of game where epic speed runs will be a thing of wonder. I personally, can’t wait to see that.

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