The Sexy Brutale

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
The Sexy Brutale Game Poster Image
Darkly funny adventure with clever time rewind gameplay.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Message about regret, forgiveness could go over younger players' heads.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Players work to prevent murders by watching them happen again and again.

Ease of Play

Success depends on patience, exploration, logic.

Violence

Characters are shown dying repeatedly by electrocution, shooting, falling, hanging, etc. Art style is cartoonish, but there's a good amount of blood.

Sex

Mild reference to "smut" by one character.

Language

Occasional instances of "goddamn," "hell," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casino setting has a bar, wine cellar, characters frequently talk about needing a drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Sexy Brutale is a downloadable mystery/adventure game full of dark humor and references to death. It shows characters being murdered over and over in various ways, some of them bloody, and shows the hero sneaking around spying on people. There's occasional language like "s--t," "goddamn," or "hell," and one mild reference to "smut." Characters also explore a bar and a wine cellar in a casino, and frequently remark about needing a drink. The over-reaching theme involves very adult mistakes, guilt, and regret -- things that might be too heavy or complex for young children to understand.

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What's it about?

THE SEXY BRUTALE tells the story of a casino-owning madman with murderous designs on his guests. You're the smartest of the casino-goers and so it falls to you -- with the help of a mysterious woman and a handy time-rewinding pocket watch -- to save the rest from certain death. A large part of the gameplay involves sneaking around the casino, listening at doors, and spying through peepholes in order to gain information. The remainder involves figuring out how to use that information to keep people from being killed.

 

Is it any good?

This macabre, darkly humorous adventure is extremely clever thanks to it's Groundhog Day-like time mechanics. If you've ever told yourself “If I'd known then what I know now,” this game is for you. It grants you a luxury rarely enjoyed in real life; the chance to address complex problems repeatedly until you get them right. That's the good news. The bad news is, here when you don't get things right, innocent people die. The challenge of The Sexy Brutale is having the patience to keep living the same day over and over, putting what you learn to good use. The knowledge you gain stays with you when the clock resets at midnight; items you've found do not. That means remembering where things (and people) are, and understanding complex chains of cause-and-effect. Oh yeah, and the clock's constantly ticking, so if you miss a critical event, there's nothing for it but to start the day all over. Fortunately, the characters, music, and environments are great, so revisiting them isn't painful. But frustration's bound to arise when the interface fails to give you the feedback you need to progress. It's easy to get totally stuck because of an action you failed to spy or a conversation you failed to overhear, and there's nothing in-game to help you on your way. That said, if you do get through to the end, you're in for an unusually poignant story that rewards you for putting your brain and your skulking skills to the test.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about guilt. When is guilt healthy, and when does it become self-destructive?

  • Discuss the idea of turning back time. Have you ever wished you could fix something by turning back time?

  • Think about the notion of foresight. Are there times logic can help you foresee the consequences of your actions?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love logic puzzles

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