Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Game Poster Image
Emotional puzzler has great role models, some dark moments.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about puzzle solving, cooperation, teamwork, and brotherly love in this unusual and touching puzzle and platforming game. The cleverly designed conundrums typically require both brothers -- controlled simultaneously by the player -- to work together performing different tasks at the same time. As they work together, the siblings show affection for one another, making them fine fraternal role models. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons imparts some good lessons about teamwork, solving puzzles, and brotherly love.

Positive Messages

This game is about love, loss, bravery, and the strength that comes with fraternal bonds. It suggests that life is less lonely and tasks much easier when you share a partnership.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two brothers are terrific role models. They clearly love each other, help each other, and openly express their feelings through pats and hugs. They get into only one fight in the whole game, and they don't instigate it. The rest of the time, the two use their heads and cooperate to solve problems.

Ease of Play

Players need use only two buttons to control each brother throughout the game. You'll be controlling both at the same time –- one with each thumb –- and it may test your ambidexterity, but most players shouldn't have too much of a problem getting used to this unique, dual-hero mechanic. 

Violence

Aside from a minor battle that has players pulling legs off a big spider, there is no violence. However, death plays a major role in the story. Plus, players will see the bloody aftermath of a battle between giants as they make the game's heroes push their way past huge carcasses and wade through streams of blood-filled water, coating them in crimson.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The brothers encounter a man on a bench who appears to be drunk. He offers the younger sibling a drink from a bottle. The sibling sips it and expresses disgust.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a downloadable game available through Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network, and Steam for PCs. It's a puzzle and platforming game with almost no violence, though in one dark scene players will traverse a bloody battlefield filled with the bodies of dead giants. Plus, the notion of death plays a significant role in the game's sobering fantasy story. One of the things that makes this game special is that these two brothers make great role models. They only get into one fight with an enemy and spend the rest of the game figuring out puzzles and trying to help people. They love, cooperate with, and help one another throughout. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byAki-Matti January 20, 2014

Join the brothers on a worthy cause

This seems like a game that encompasses much of what childhood adventures outside with friends are about. Exhilaration, excitement and friendship. The two broth... Continue reading
Adult Written bystefanlindskog September 29, 2013

Uniquely compelling

Not many games manage to tell a story as convincing as Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The main characters set out on a fantastic journey to save their father, wh... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byIronRunningAnvil August 30, 2013

Sad game with dark twists creating some average gameplay

Ok so to start this game is not for young kids. It can get pretty gory at some points and also pretty scary and dark, not trying to give anything away. The gam... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMarvelFanx September 15, 2017

Brothers

Excellent game some blood but still it's great. But the beginning of the end of the game is very sad it actually made me tear up a bit.

What's it about?

BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO SONS is the fantastical story of older and younger siblings on a quest to retrieve medicine from a magic tree with the power to save their father. The two brothers, who experience a terrible tragedy in the game's opening scenes that leaves one deathly afraid of water, aren't warriors or sorcerers. They don't go around getting into fights. They're just kids who use teamwork and wits to solve problems -- moving obstacles, operating machinery, climbing up ledges -- and help people. It sounds much like any other game with navigational puzzles, but the twist comes in that you're always controlling both at the same time. The left thumbstick moves the older brother, the right moves the younger, and the corresponding triggers are used to interact with objects. The brothers are consequently quite dependent on one other. Many tasks can only be achieved by making both perform actions at the same time. Working alone, their abilities are greatly diminished.

Is it any good?

The brilliance of Brothers is that it uses its play mechanics to establish a connection between the player and the characters. More than that, it makes players feel, to a degree, what the characters feel. This is seen most clearly in a scene in which you have control over only one of the brothers. By this point in the game you've spent so much time with the two in tandem that the lack of one brother feels wrong. Everything is more difficult. Tasks are less fun. You become lonely. These are the exact emotions being experienced by the sole sibling. It's a heartfelt -- and heartbreaking -- moment of interactive storytelling.

The rest of the game is equal to this experience. Getting used to controlling two characters at once can be a bit tricky but is never too tough. And the world, marked by beautiful skies and colorful lands filled with fantastical creatures, is a visual treat. The adventure lasts a brief three hours, but they're three hours you won't soon forget.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it is to be a sibling. How do you and your sibling(s) get along? When have they helped you or you helped them? Can you imagine life without them? If you don't have a brother or sister, what do you think it would be like?

  • Families also can discuss the concept of loss. Has anyone close to you ever died? What did you do to deal with your loss? What sort of advice would you give to someone else going through the same situation?

  • What is the impact of violence in the media? This game has a very bloody scene. Was it necessary?

Game details

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