May 7th, 2011 | By Chris Priestman
In Jasper Byrne’s delightful 2D platformer, death is the only option. Yes that’s right, Soul Brother is a game in which players control a spirit that travels from creature to creature in order to move around. Being the selfish entity that you are, a small sacrifice is needed to exit a creature’s body to then jump inside another. The cute creatures all have their own ability; such as the double jumping cat, a block pushing worm, and my favourite – the chirpy flying bird.
The majority of the challenge inherent in the game not only comes from your usual perilous platforming manoeuvres, but also working out the order to use the creatures at your disposal in each screen. If there are no more animals to reincarnate into, then death means that the screen is reset to how it was when you entered and a notch is added to your death counter. Essentially, the platforming is kept a little more entertaining due to doubling up as a semi-puzzle game. Nothing is too hard to work out most of the time, the difficulty is usually pulling off the moves without killing the creatures off too soon.
Alongside the clever inversion of the norm in which death equals progression; Soul Brother has a presentation to get excited about. The vibrant 8-bit style is delightful enough to brighten up the gloomiest of days, especially with the personified flowers and humorous signposts that add to the game’s character. The accompanying soundtrack is full of colourful upbeat vibes that are enhanced greatly by the creatures bobbing their heads to the beat – you cannot help but join in. If you are not grinning from ear to ear while playing this game then you seriously need to get your head checked out.
As you will be enjoying your time with Soul Brother so much, the time will fly by and you may find the game a little short. You will more than likely want to experience this candy rainbow world once again, and you are given plenty of incentive to do so. There are in-game achievements to unlock and discovering them is half the fun (fun fact: the achievements are portrayed as fruit). Most of them are rewarded for completing the game under a certain time, collecting as many of the 33 gems as possible and avoiding death without re-incarnation. Combine all of these things together and the most dedicated players can go for the chance to win the Rainbow Star!
Soul Brother is an absolute gem and one that players will enjoy revisiting over and over. The game will entice you with its colourful charm, and then never let you go due its addictive achievement challenges. The character and effort put into the game is immediately noticeable – gamers will still fall slaves to the seductions of cute animals. As a platformer the game is quite different (if not amusingly sadistic) and certainly one of the more outstanding titles amongst the indie surge surrounding the genre. Being a free game there is absolutely no excuse to not at least give it a go, especially if you need cheering up.
Check out the developer’s blog at superflatgames.com.
To play Soul Brother for free, make your way over to adultswim.com for some rainbow styled platforming.