Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World – What We Think:
Arrgh, another point-and-click adventure? How many of these do I have to review in a row? *Grumbles about the cruelty of his editor*
It’s not that bad. In truth, point-and-clicks are a genre near and dear to me. Hell, in the early years of graphically-driven PC games they were almost the only thing going. Sierra, Lucas Arts and Westwood Studios filled my childhood with hours of entertainment. After graphics accelerators and 3D games pushed the capabilities of developers beyond such 2D animated adventures, the genre sort of went into hibernation.
Enter the new indie game boom. With the maturing of the Flash platform and an abundance of 3rd party development tools, what could be simpler to make than a point-and-click? Have an interesting story? Have a half decent artist? Have at it.
The result is a glut of these games in the marketplace – some amazing, some terrible, most somewhere in between.
But I digress
OK, enough about the genre. Let’s talk about Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World. Kaptain Brawe is a classic point-and-click in the truest sense of the phrase. It has an early VGA, SCUMM-system, hand-drawn look to it that gave me the warm and fuzzies and made me wish someone would resurrect Roger Wilco for one last mission. It also contains a few entertaining animated sequences. Everything has an almost Steampunk look to it; wood and antiquity in space has a lot of charm to it. [Ed: funny to hear Patrick include Steampunk when the only reference is wood and antiquity in space, especially after riding me about a mechanical Kraken as a questionable nod to the genre]
Kaptain Brawe was a lot of fun. There’s a lot of funny back-and-forth dialog between characters. You’ll also have an opportunity to play as multiple members of the cast. Voice acting would have been nice, particularly with how short this game is, but isn’t missed that much. Some of the situational humor was lost on me, I think, in part, due to the Eastern European origins of the game. Still, I had a blast bumbling around with Brawe and crew. The story was entertaining, if straightforward.
One thing Brawe has over many of the classics is the question mark in the corner that allows you to see all the hotspots on the screen. This tool is a must for any point-and-click in this day and age, and is particularly vital in Kaptain Brawe, because there are some really odd and hard to find objects that you’ll need throughout the story.
Otherwise the interface is sort of a mixed bag; the inventory system requires you to open it, select something, close it, then use it on whatever in-game object you want. A rollover/rollout system would have been a lot less awkward. When you try and combine two items in your inventory, if they fail to work together your inventory immediately closes to allow Brawe to tell you they don’t work. Unfortunately, this means if you have multiple combinations to try you have to keep opening and closing your inventory and re-selecting items. It’s annoying, but not a deal-breaker.
I enjoyed Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World more than the last few point-and-clicks I’ve reviewed, but unfortunately it suffers from the same problem as the recently reviewed AlternativA. Price. While it’s a great game, other great games of the genre go for less than half the cost. I’d say if you can find it for $10, pick it up. Particularly if you’re old enough to remember the golden age of point-and-clicks.