09th May2019

‘Truberbrook’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

trueberbrook-switch-cover

The visuals are the high-point in this traditional graphic adventure. A haphazard narrative and plain puzzles affect the ability to really recommend this as a must-play title for adventure enthusiasts and feels too meandering to recommend as a starting point to newcomers of the genre.

Set in 1967, you take control of the protagonist Hans Tannhauser an American Quantum Physicist as he takes what he assumes will be a gentle vacation to the quiet, rural and titular village of Truberbrook. What begins innocuously enough soon escalates into a ‘save the world’ scenario.

Having very recently returned from a weeklong trip that encompassed both Cologne and Berlin, I was ready to get hips deep into Truberbrook, with its Germanic roots and voice cast. However, the game didn’t strike me as particularly German, especially in the wobbly voice acting which can range from spot-on to struggling to place where a particular character is supposed to hail from (one person I spoke to in a treehouse, natch, varied between Scottish, English, American and German in the same couple of lines), and the locations visited in-game. The press kit for the game specifies an atmosphere of ‘Twin Peaks, X Files and Stranger Things covering universal themes like love, friendship, loyalty, rootlessness, self-discovery and monster hunting’ these themes however, feel more of an afterthought as the story trundles on a little bit too generically to get more involved in these aspects with characters’ motives and actions seeming random and superficial.

trueberbrook-switch-1

Visually, the game is stunning with rich backgrounds (especially in the outdoor segments) and detailed characters but the animation and movement feels stilted. Quite often in the game my character would get stuck in scenery and even load-in (the game does spend a bit of time loading up sections which is a bit tedious) to screens already glitched in the environment or walking into a wall. With the narrative wavering between straightforward and non-sequitur sections (such as a sequence in a sanatorium which is never expanded upon) it feels less of an unfolding mystery and leans more towards a series of unrelated scenarios. In this genre, the puzzles can be the saving grace in the event of other aspects not grabbing the player but again, they veer from being quite simplistic to random and sadly, dull, especially towards the end of the game when the sci-fi element really takes off and yet the quests you embark upon feel dull in comparison to the heights that the plot aspires to present.

trueberbrook-switch-2

Truberbrook is a very beautiful game that is gentle enough to be inoffensive but feels like it could have been a lot more. With more direction (and perhaps ‘edge’) on the writing / puzzle side and some tightening of the technical aspects, this could have been a really tasty title. As it stands, my interest sadly began to wane around three hours in and I found it hard to regain. BTF have the skills to visually portray a striking and quite unique graphical style but in future titles, that care and effort would ideally need to bleed into other aspects of the gameplay which I am sure they will do, in time.

Truberbrook is available on the Nintendo eShop now.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Off

Comments are closed.