Two Brothers – A stunning Gameboy-inspired action RPG
Okay. You’re back, right? Good. And you’re impressed. I certainly was. Honestly, that little bit of Two Brothers I saw before has nothing on the first full trailer. You can tell it’s a labor of love, and Ackk Studios confirms that. “We set out to create a game that we would love to play at this point in our lives, and a game we would have loved as children with Gameboys,” The developers explained regarding their goals with Two Brothers, “The game needed to be complex at its core, but simple at first glance. The games world needed to feel alive, and every area in the game had to feel like it had it’s own culture.” Ack Studios said that Two Brothers was actually initally inspired not by games, but by other things like Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, 80’s movies, comic books, and Orientalist paintings As for video game inspirations for Two Brothers, Ackk Studios had a pretty solid list, “Legend of Zelda was a big influence of course, Link’s Awakening in particular. The first Wild Arms, The Lufia series, Mass Effect, Chrono Trigger, the Mother Series (Ed. Note: Earthbound to me and you in case you’ve never been on the Internet before), and the Mana series.” That’s a whole list of games that I like!
In any case, Two Brothers started with Ackk Studios without the intent to make a game, but after messing with the concept for a while, Ackk Studios said, “Before I knew it, we had quite a bit of content and we realized that it HAD to be made.” As for the gameplay, Two Brothers was originally going to have three characters, with all of them involved. However, Ackk Studios said, “[Having] three moving sprites on the small screen space attacking enemies took up a lot of screen room and they killed anything before you could get to it. We’ve since hammered out those issues. Now Roy and Bivare are just a lot more lonely most of the time.” As for the game world, Ackk Studios explained, “The game itself is a bit weird. You eat hearts to gain health that look like actual hearts, it’s half color half green scale, people live inside of giant animals, and if that wasn’t enough, the game punishes people who assume you need to solve puzzles in the game as if the game is Zelda. It really plays against expectations as to what a game that looks like it does should play like.” Ah, subverting expectations.
Still, the list of ways Two Brothers is unusual doesn’t end there. For instance, instead of just giving you a game over screen when your character dies, Ackk Studios said, “The game has an interesting mechanic… When the player dies they are transported to an ‘Afterlife Hub’ (a colorful floating island flying above the games overworld). The player can quickly get back in to the action by jumping back to life. However, we have made the afterlife a completely interactive experience filled with important NPCs, power-ups, and other hidden gems that we can’t seem to draw peoples attention to, as they usually want to get back to kicking the asses of whatever just killed them. Many of the game’s quests involve players going back and forth between life and death so eventually our players learn. We are still working out a way to get people to explore up there early on in the game.” Ackk Studios plans to release Two Brothers for PC, XBOX 360, and OSx in January 2013. You can find more about Ackk Studios and Two Brothers on Facebook and Twitter.
So, if you aren’t excited about Two Brothers from Ackk Studios now, well, there’s no helping you I’m afraid. What do you think of the trailer? What memories do you have of playing Gameboy games? It’s like a whole separate world down in the comments section waiting to be explored..