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Monochroma Review

Monochroma is a puzzle-platformer reminiscent of games like LIMBO and the recently released INSIDE. With striking visuals and a story of two brothers, can this game capture hearts and minds? Read on to find out!

Developer: Nowhere Studios
Publisher: Nowhere Studios
Platform: Xbox One
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Copy provided by publishers

Shortly after the story begins, your younger brother gets injured which begins your journey to help him through the world. It's a world of bleak, black and white contrasts with red accents reminiscent of a Frank Miller movie. There are thugs that chase you and houses filled with intelligent robots, all par for the course in a story that you must piece together yourself.

During your journey you'll come across various obstacles in which your brother plays a critical role. In games such as Brothers A Tale of Two Sons your brother is an emotional, useful, and essential part of your journey which adds to the experience. Even games like Gears of War, Army of Two, and Battlefield your brothers-in-arms are as close to you as any blood relative.

In Monochroma, your brother is nothing more than a nuisance who should have been left behind from the start. Hanging on your back like an old sack of potatoes, your brother weighs you down drastically decreasing your peak jumping height. Thankfully the game allows you to set him down, but unfortunately he only allows you to do so in the most painfully lit up areas imaginable.

This need for a ridiculously absurd amount of light results in you trying to find the one spot where your brother will get off, allowing you to do what's necessary to complete the puzzle at hand. Often times this involves temporarily placing him down, scampering around to do a few things, and then quickly picking him back up to progress.

I found myself wishing the brother would just die so I would be left unburden. Maybe this is what it's like to have a little brother, I wouldn't know as an only child. What I do know is that the most joy I had in this game was during the brief moment when the little brother got kidnapped by one of the aforementioned thugs.

The puzzles themselves are simplistic and unimaginative. With typical chase sequences and classic platforming sections, the unique aspects come in the form of your little brother which unfortunately were more frustrating than anything. The platforming sections often times required precise landings which proved difficult thanks to the controls. I couldn't help but to slip to my death over and over while trying to simply land on a barrel. A task that would be trivial in most games.

Monochroma is a game that attempts to capture the same mysterious atmosphere of games like LIMBO with the addition of a brotherly tie. Sadly it fails in both attempts. While the visuals are striking and the scenery mysterious, I felt little desire to understand what was going on around me. And the brother, well lets just say I'm glad I'm an only child.

- Annoying little brother
- Unimaginative puzzles
- Clunky controls

Score: 5/10
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