Truberbrook (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 25.10.2019

Review for Truberbrook on Nintendo Switch

Point-and-click adventures are rife with nostalgia for many a gamer, so much so that there is still the odd release that manages to stir up interest despite the cornucopia of RPGs and modern action titles that dominate the industry today. Truberbrook is one of these divergent point-and-click adventures - in some ways at least. Branded a "mystery-sci-fi adventure game" by developer btf, Truberbrook tells the tale of Hans Tannhauser, a young American scientist on holiday in the secluded German town of Trüberbrook. Expecting a relaxing vacation, he instead finds himself at the centre of a bizarre, science-fiction imbued mystery.

The world of Truberbrook is simply astounding to behold. The environments and lighting were predominantly handcrafted, resulting in scenery so vivid it's like staring at a photograph. The scenery on show is overlaid with stop-motion-esque animations, resulting in a viewing experience that is not entirely dissimilar to an animated Wes Anderson film. What btf has achieved here, this marriage of handmade environments and digitally produced characters and animations, is truly remarkable. It's a shame that Truberbrook's faults shine through so starkly in everything else...

Controlling Hans feels a little sluggish and unresponsive, and overlong loading times sap any sense of flow from the narrative. The script oscillates jarringly between humorous and pretentious, and this is made abundantly worse by some poor voice acting. The story itself is weakly structured, and relies far too heavily on long strands of exposition from characters you're given very little reason to care about. Many of these seem to exist in a vacuum, providing only fleeting entertainment and information in one of Truberbrook's five chapters before disappearing into the ether.

Screenshot for Truberbrook on Nintendo Switch

The characters serve to characterise a story that is jagged and lacks form, which is particularly strange given that many of the tasks encountered along the way feel like pure filler. One such task sees Hans charged with fixing a wobbly table just so that another character can stop being distracted by it long enough to provide some important information.

This coupled with some poor point-and-click design sees the whole experience fall flat on its face; far too often, solving a puzzle amounts to little more than guessing at what combination of items or dialogue choices will lead to acquiring a key item. When passing through environments, it's far too easy to become stressed about interacting with everything in the hopes that a key item will appear. Playing through these stages is frustrating enough to leach the joy out of simply enjoying the wonderful environments.

Aside from the phenomenal design work, the only other knot holding this otherwise threadbare experience together is its sparse, minimalistic soundtrack, which serves to establish an atmosphere that compliments the great sense of visual style. Truberbrook boasts some gorgeously crafted environments that are pure eye candy, and the expertise that went into building many of the environments by hand is clearly apparent and worthy of the utmost praise. Once that initial "wow" has subsided, though, all Truberbrook offers is a weak nod towards the point-and-click roots that it aspires to. As a video game, it simply does not impress.

Screenshot for Truberbrook on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Truberbrook's handcrafted backdrops are strikingly beautiful, and its delightful to see such craftmanship woven into a video game. When it comes to the rest of the experience, though, there's very little to sing praise about. As a point-and-click adventure, this fails woefully. As a story-driven mystery, it tediously chugs along without offering anything of substance. Die-hard point-and-click gamers might be able to find some signs of life, but for everyone else there's little here to admire beyond the handcrafted environments.

Developer

btf

Publisher

Headup Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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