PREVIEW: Two Brothers from Ackk Studios

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

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Two Brothers is the debut game from Ackk Studios, and one which we have covered extensively here on the site. We’ve even had a chat with the developers on more than one occasion. So you can bet that we were excited when we were told there would be a demo on its way soon.

Two Brothers follows the story of Roy Guarder, a scientist, inventor and philosopher living in a world devoid of colour. Roy is in possession of a very unique ability: he is able to flit between the worlds of both the living and the dead as he wishes. Should he meet any circumstances that would result in his death, he, like everyone else, gets transported to the afterlife. But unlike everyone else, Roy is able to return to the realm of the living at any time.

Two Brothers Demo - View from Heaven - oprainfall

The view of the regular world from the afterlife.


As a result, as far as I can tell, you never truly acquire a “game over” in Two Brothers; instead, you get transported to this afterlife where you are free to interact with any of the dead people hovering around. Unfortunately, in the demo, it wasn’t possible to interact with anyone here, save for one man who would send me back to the regular world whenever I tried to speak with him. Whenever I tried to go elsewhere, I would be turned away with a spoiler warning. It’s worth noting that I could also return to the world of the living by jumping off the side of the plateau I found myself on.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how the afterlife gets implemented in the full version of the game. I already know I’m going to need to have Roy killed in order to gather information and other such things from people who have passed on. Roy can also utilize the telescope seen in the bottom-right corner of the above image to find out the colour nearest to his location. This afterlife is shaping up to become a very interesting mechanic.

As the initial release for Two Brothers is for PC, the demo is for PC as well. You can move Roy around with the arrow keys, use his bow with Z, swing a sword with X, and open up his companion’s bag with C. And when I say “open up his bag”, what I actually mean is that Roy’s friend, Mark, opens the bag wide and Roy jumps inside it. When you want to leave again, hit C and Mark will drop you a rope so you can climb out.

Two Brothers Demo - Rope - oprainfall

You can see the rope coming out of the top of the screen.


In Mark’s bag, Roy can change his equipment. I very quickly settled on a sabre to replace my regular sword. There were also a couple of items lying around and a changing room; what the change room is for, I couldn’t figure out, though I expect I will when I sit down to play the full game.

Combat is fairly straightforward. Press Z and X to fire arrows and swing your sword to defeat any enemies in your path. The place was mostly overrun with rats, though I ran into a few projectile-firing foes as well. None of them posed much of a threat.

The object of the demo was to head south-east from my starting location to the swamp, clear the dungeon, and then defeat the boss to claim a new colour. I was only allowed to explore a small portion of the world for the purposes of the demo, so after running around for a while and unlocking a bunch of chests lying around the area, I took off to the swamp I had been told to find. When I reached it, Mark left, and I was soon joined by a mysterious new character.

There weren’t any real puzzles on display here; it was pretty much a straight run from the beginning to the end of the dungeon, with a few new enemies in my path. At the end of the dungeon was the demo’s boss, which killed me twice before I managed to best it. Following the boss fight and a conversation with a giant reptile, Roy was able to obtain some of the colour he had been coveting so much, and the demo ended.

Two Brothers Demo - Roy in Colour - oprainfall

Standing next to the colour changes Roy’s colour, so he’s no longer in a monotone.


And so, the demo for Two Brothers ends. The full version of the game will be releasing very soon; when it does, check back for a review from yours truly! Until then, get hyped!