Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Platform: PC
Publisher: Ocean Media
Developer: Cateia Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Before I played Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World, I never realized just how much I associated voice acting — or, at least, a specific type of voice acting — with adventure games. Whether it?s Monkey Island, or Day of the Tentacle, or even more recent games like Gibbous or Tangle Tower, as far as I?m concerned the one common thread is that they all feature what I think of as ??90s cartoon voice” — which is to say, knowing, a little (or a lot) sarcastic, prone to breaking the fourth wall.

Kaptain Brawe doesn?t feature any voice acting — like, not even a few canned lines here and there. It still has the adventure game sense of humour (at least as that was defined by LucasArts back in the ?90s) but all its jokes are text-based — as is everything else, for that matter. And I have to say: while I can?t say that I love ?90s cartoon voice, those jokes work a lot better with voice acting than without. Simply reading them off a screen makes the game?s humour lose a lot of its oomph.

And if you were looking for a sense of what?s wrong with Kaptain Brawe in a nutshell, the last two paragraphs capture it pretty well. It has most of the elements you?d expect in a point-and-click adventure, but they all feel kind of bargain basement.

The visuals, for example, are merely alright. The game lacks any kind of distinctive style to call its own; it looks serviceable, rather than memorable. The one exception to this is in its choice of fonts, which are best described as retro space age, and not in a good way. None of the text stands out well against the background — which is unfortunate, since, as we?ve established, text is all you?re getting here.

Likewise, the gameplay is exactly what you?d expect. The puzzles aren?t insane and don?t require any crazy leaps of logic, which is nice, except the game isn?t very long, either, so that means you?ll be able to race through it quickly — the only variable being whether you opt for hardcore or casual mode, the latter providing plenty of hints to help you on your way.

Would my feelings towards Kaptain Brawe be any different if it featured voice acting? It?s quite possible — after all, it?s hard not to imagine that it would?ve given the characters and the game more of a personality, which would make it a lot easier to get into. As it stands, however, it doesn?t, which means we?re left with what?s on offer here — and that, unfortunately, isn?t enough to make the game stand out.

Ocean Media provided us with a Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B-