Microsoft’s ‘Summer of Arcade‘ kicks off with the XBLA game Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons.  We’ve been covering this game for about a year with an early preview and developer interview with the Game Director Josef Fares way back in Oct 2012.

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons will probably appeal most to gamers who want something in the style of Journey and/or Limbo. Brothers follows an ‘older brother’ and ‘younger brother’ as they try to find help for their father – the plot is very vague with no dialogue and little exposition.  Unfortunately Brothers doesn’t have the same emotional grasp that games we compared it to like Journey and/or Limbo do – a shame considering the game is structured around two brothers working together to solve simple puzzles.

What Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons does have that we haven’t seen before in another game is a single-player co-op experience.  You can control both brothers at the same time – older brother is controlled by the left thumbstick and younger brother by the right thumbstick.  The triggers on each side will cause them to interact with objects, grab things, jump or sit on benches throughout the game.  Basically Brother asks gamers if they can rub their stomach while patting their heads — how advance does your brain process two things at once?

The gimmick of controlling two brothers at the same time isn’t hard to master and eventually you feel some reward in being able to run two characters down two different paths at the same time.  Visually Brothers is fun to explore with a nice atmosphere and landscape although the sound design is lacking dramatically with no running music score and very few sound effects.  The puzzles aren’t very difficult – usually requiring some trial and error.  Most of Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons feels like a tech demo for a ‘larger game’ at work as the premise and materials are all there but ultimately there’s just not enough hook to warrant praise outside of the game mechanics working bother sides of your brain at the same time.

Brothers A Tale of Two Sons is out now for 1200 Microsoft Points – we’ve provided some gameplay with commentary for your enjoyment!

Brothers A Tale Of Two Sons Trailer

Brothers A Tale Of two Sons Gameplay