“Be careful what you wish for,” they say. It’s something Max, the titular character of Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, should have considered before wishing that his brother Felix would disappear. Because when poor Felix actually does disappear—snatched into a mysterious vortex by a monster—Max has to jump in to save him.
You guide Max through this cinematic side-scrolling platformer, but you’re not helpless. After tracking the monster to a sparse desert world, Max meets an odd woman who explains that Felix was kidnapped by her rival, the evil Lord Mustacho, who wants to “absorb” Felix to increase his power. Yikes.
Fortunately, she gives you a handy weapon: a marker that’s literally magic. It can be used to manipulate the environment and solve puzzles. Raise platforms so that Max can climb over impossibly tall cliffs or snip vines to build makeshift rafts. And on iPhone and iPad, drawing lines is as easy as dragging your finger across the screen.
Max: The Curse of Brotherhood complements its action with cinematic storytelling. Important moments—like the monster carrying Felix away in the background of the first level—are often presented during play rather than cutscenes. It gives everything a thrilling immediacy.
The cutscenes that do break up the action aren’t an afterthought, though. They’re beautifully animated and fully voiced; it’s impossible not to feel empathy for Max and share his guilt should he fail to save his brother. But you wouldn’t let that happen, would you?