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Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World

Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World

 

Developer: Cateia Games The title screen.The title screen.
Released: 2010.11.01
Genre: SciFi / Comedy
Graphics: Cartoon / 2D
Perspective: Third person
Gameplay: Point-and-Click



 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

"...to BOLDLY go, where man has already been..." being the first words that the protagonist says, it's clear where things are coming from, and where they are going to. Kaptain Brawe is a cartoon-style comedic traditional adventure game, which is getting its inspiration from space exploration in an alternative timeline, where polar ion drive was invented in 1812. As a result of that invention space is colonised by people, and Kaptain Brawe is (not the brightest) member of the Space Police that is keeping order around the space.

As can be expected, very soon things start going to other directions that an ordinary day of routine space patrolling. The starting point of the adventure is Kaptain Brawe's spaceship, SPS Mazslow, receiving a distress call from a crashed ship. Intentional or not, that has been the very starting point of many science fiction stories, including the original Star Trek pilot episode, The Cage. It should be no surprise that there is much more to the story than just finding the ship and rescuing its survivors, there always is.

If the story has a clear connection to stories made in the past, so has the form in which it is delivered. Kaptain Brawe, as a game, is very much like a continuation of the traditional LucasArts formula, where the surroundings are nicely grafted cartoon backgrounds, situations are funny and bizarre, proceeding in the game is safe as there's no way to get a game over, and even some background melodies sounds like they could have been taken from a classic game.

The protagonists.The protagonists.
Much of the game doesn't even try to make any sense realistically, which is evidenced by things like the spaceship being made out of wood. For the most part, the game has managed to strike a good balance between being funny, and having puzzles that follow logical thinking, at least adventure-logical. Much of the game is a real joy to play, puzzles being funny, and exploration providing many jokes and gags. What has been a winning formula in the past, works here too.

In addition to Kaptain Brawe, later in the game the player gets to control two other characters as well. This actually has two sides to it - on one hand it gives some additional depth to the game, as in some puzzles team work and character switching is required, but on the other hand things start falling apart to some extent after these additional characters appear. The game flows flawlessly when Kaptain Brawe is adventuring alone, but when these additional characters appear in the story, the story-telling gets more and more out of hand, jokes become fewer, and puzzles become less rational but at the same time more challenging.

It can be assumed that the overall game would be better, had the developers had the guts to axe some of the latter parts of the game, making the game much shorter, but keeping it better together. It's not bad as it is, but it could be better. The way the story goes offers more than one good place to end the narrative, but it keeps going on after a plot twist or few, until the final resolution isn't as impactful as it tries to be.

The game has many charming aspects to it, and comparing it to the classic titles wouldn't be out of place. The biggest problem is the character of Kaptain Brawe. He simply isn't as engaging as a protagonist as most of the iconic adventure game protanists are, and whatever appeal he has himself, is mostly unused during times when those other protagonists are solving their problems. Also the character features don't necessarily match the intention. In Space Quest, for instance, Roger Wilco character gives perfectly the image of the accidental hero that he is. In Kaptain Brawe, the protagonist is probably the tallest and biggest character in the game, who could by sheer physical force overcome many of the problems he encounters, but, well, he just doesn't do that.

Truer words have seldom been spoken.Truer words have seldom been spoken.
Overall the character work and backgrounds are nicely done in the artistic sense, and create a nice comedic feeling to the game. Animations could have benefitted from a little extra work, they sometimes feel as if they are missing a frame or two and are not as smooth as they could be, but that's a minor complaint. The game has a nice feature where you can get to most locations faster, and skipping the walking animation, by double-clicking the destination arrow. This works with most, even if not all, transitions between two different areas in the game. One thing that could have made the game so much nicer is customised reactions when trying to use objects on something. Most adventure games have only generic responses, as does Kaptain Brawe, but given the subject matter that doesn't need to follow any real life patterns, this would have provided a vehicle for some tremendous humour, so it's a lost opportunity.

Some audio is, like already stated, like lifted out from a classic 90's adventure game. Some melodies are a bit annoying and could have used a longer and more varying loop. There are no voiceovers in the game, unless you happen to find a German version which does have German voiceovers. To use that with English subtitles is possible by applying a fan patch that combines those two languages. Whether the game needs voiceovers or not can be discussed, there is one character with a speech deficit, and reading that character's lines is amusing, it is always possible that they wouldn't work as well with an actor. But that mattew we weally don't know fow suwe.

Some of the bad guys.Some of the bad guys.
There are two modes in the game, hardcore and casual, the difference being probably obvious. The first is more challenging and for more experienced players, and the latter being more suitable for gamers who don't have that many adventures in their completed backlog. Those players who intend to unlock all achievements, must go through the game at least twice, as unlocking them all requires completing the game in both modes.

What conclusion can we come to about the game? Well, it is a very good one for sure. Out of games that try to repeat the classic formula, it's certainly among the best ones. It has its flaws, but in the overall big picture they aren't fundamental problems. The game offers an amusing science fiction parody in the traditional package, so what's there not to like? There are a couple of jokes that might upset some most sensitive players, but generally speaking, the game is good, innocent fun that is historically the most recognisable form of adventure games. Anyone who likes the classic point-and-click style is probably going to like Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World. What it does good, it does good, and things that could be better, aren't so critical in the end. It is not hard to find motivations to play it, it's quite hard to find reasons not to play it.

The door is locked.The door is locked.

 


 

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