Originally a Let's Play series that didn't export with audio, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game worth talking about.
Who made this game?
Turn Me up games inc
Is it 2-player?
Not inherently. One brother is controlled with WASD + L ctrl and the other is arrow keys + r ctrl. There’s a bit of mental gymnastics when controlling them but you don’t have to do anything too difficult gameplay wise.
How long does it take to beat?
It took me ~4 hours but some people may be better at not dying.
Is this game for kids?
Probably not, there’s death in the first five minutes, people “hanging” out, and other spooky stuff that wouldn’t make this kiddo friendly.
What is this game about?
So the older brother’s name is Naia and the younger brother’s name is Naiee. This game is not in English, it’s in a made up language so from my understanding here’s the story…spoilers ahead!
Someone died and at first you aren’t sure who died. Suddenly a flashback and you watch Naiee struggle to save a woman, presumably his mom, from drowning. Her ghost appears from her grave and comforts him but disappears. Naia calls out, dad is sick and needs help taking dad to a doctor in a cart.
Cue some puzzle platforming and ad-libbed sibling banter.
We make it to a doctor and he says dad’s not looking great. Naia is ready to throw down but the old man shows a scroll with the tree of life that’s capable of healing their dad. So off they go.
Outside the doctor’s house, a kid blocks the way but Naia can swim with Naiee on his back in the river below. After some more platforming to teach me the ropes, we have successfully made it into the village. We sneak into a back alley using the rooftops to try and make our way beyond the village. The kid who barred us from the village is back but Naiee opened a dog cage and it chased him away. We climb some steps and there’s a beautiful waterfall and a drawbridge with a sleeping guard. Naiee wakes him and we are able to move on.
We make it through the outskirts talking to various villagers asking about the tree of life and playing the harp with the river man. Then we ran into a vicious farm dog. Using our smarts we lure the dog between the two brothers and both of them make it safely across.
After some more platforming we make it to the edge of the farm with bunnies, a parrot, and sheep. Younger bro sets the parrot free and after some puzzling we are able to have a sheep use the hamster wheel so we can cross together. We sneak around this really narrow path looking down at the dumb dog we outsmarted.
Then we come across a crying troll.
He doesn’t mean any harm and asks for our help. In exchange, he’ll help us get closer to the tree of life. We find a stone bench and see our next challenge: the mountain. We climb our way up the mountainside but instead of reaching the peak, the troll grabs us both and jumps down into a cavern with water.
Deeper and deeper into the depths of a troll civilization, filled with gears, gates, and mining. We work together solving puzzles that make platforms, leaping across breaks in the rock, and following the fireflies.
Part of the mine begins to collapse and we make it to an open area where a lady troll sits in a cage. She asks for us to help her. Younger bro sneaks past the bones and snags the key. We free her and she dips, seemingly leaving us behind with a now angry guard. We manage to trap him in the cage and she comes back to lead us out of the troll civilization. The lovers reunite but there’s one last hiccup as the troll guard comes back for one last showdown. We kick his butt, make it out, and leave the lovers peacefully.
Meanwhile, dad’s not doing well. If we don’t hurry, he may not make it. We make camp for the night but lurking just outside of our camp are wolves and if we don’t move, we won’t make it to see daybreak. Naia fights off wolf after wolf and we make it to a graveyard.
The graveyard keeper lets us through the gates but a wolf chases us to the river’s edge and now we must swim to survive. We climb out of the river and take a breather, knowing this night is far from over.
We try to climb across using this tree but Naiee falls into the river but he manages to catch himself before falling over the waterfall. We try to use an old tree root to let him climb across but tree monsters sprout from the ground so the Naia carries him through while younger bro navigates the branches reaching out to grasp at him. Younger brother falls into the water, seemingly unconscious and Naia dives in to save him.
Cue a nightmare sequence for younger bro. Mom is a giant, bro is unresponsive, and dad is lying there. Then Naia is choking Naiee.
Then he wakes up.
We’re safe, onshore, for now. We make our way up the path and stop a girl from trying to “hang” out. Her house is nearby and it’s utterly destroyed. We comfort her but ultimately must move on. We see a tower in the distance and know it’s our next stop in finding the tree of life.
We come around the corner and see a flying machine that could take us to the tower but we won’t be able to make it up the mountain without proper equipment…Good thing there are goats nearby. The brothers race up the mountainside, trash talking about who will make it first. Ultimately Naia won. We meet a scientist who needs help with his elevator, and in exchange we can take his flying machine. Cranking this elevator took forever. He’s got a place that reminds me of Swiss Family Robinson. Naiee challenges him to rock, paper scissors and wins. (I think he cheated). We mount the flying machine and make our way towards the tower. It was kinda like riding Soarin’ Over California but without the smell of the ocean or oranges…That, and we crash landed our flying machine after injuring it on a swarm of bats. But hey, we survived. We decided to use a rope from the wreck to tie ourselves together for safety. This made platforming fun but there was definitely a learning curve. We swing across the ruins until we’ve made it to the door. Front door’s locked (of course) so we climb up the side and find a large opening…perfect. The ruins aren’t super stable but at the top we find a beautiful view and a workshop of sorts. There’s a griffin in a cage and of course we gotta free it. The griffin is hurt but is willing to give us a ride out of here. It drops us off in the woods before taking a nap.
We get a flashback for Naia and he’s fishing with dad. We cross a bridge, go around the mountainside and make it to the aftermath of a giant’s war. There are a lot of casualties here and we are two tiny humans using them for platforming. Not morbid at all…
We made it but uh oh looks like there’s human sacrifice happening below us we can’t just let that happen. Uh oh, there’s a girl, she’s screaming because she will be sacrificed. We definitely can’t let that slide. We sneak down and cover ourselves in blood. The thing they are sacrificing to looks like two people stacked on top of each other, we can do that. We walk up, take the girl down, and run. The girl takes to a boat and we row down the river together. As a player, rowing is hard. But there are whales breaching so who can stay mad?
We make it to shore and our new friend pulls the boat out of the water. It’s snowing out and we are underdressed for the weather. Our new friend says she knows a place. Unfortunately, we have to cut a tree first. Then Naia tells her his best pick up line, chuckling nervously. Naiee says his best joke, offering her a fist bump.
Oh hey, it’s the village our new friend told us about. We chop down the tree and our new friend crawls across on all fours then does a lil arial. We enter the village and it is quiet, there are snow people everywhere clearly battling something but what? The brothers push a trebuchet down the hill so the little brother and our new friend can get over the wall. They let the Naiather in and something comes crashing nearby. It’s a monster but it’s invisible. Our new friend climb over another gate and now we must stealth our way through the village hiding from the invisible monster. We take shelter in a house, thinking it’s safe but it gets ripped off and now it’s time to run. We barely make it across another bridge, as the monster falls to its demise.
Our new friend embraces Naia and leads him along. She kisses him and we continue on our way. After another bridge, Naia's girlfriend opens up a cave entrance. Naiee is skeptical but we all go inside. It’s cramped and crowded here and I’ve been saying since the beginning this girl is sketchy. She has given so many red flags it’s not even funny. There are webs and egg things, and OH MY GOODNESS SHE’S A SPIDER MONSTER. We’re trapped inside a ball made of web but the brothers aren’t going down without a fight. We get the ball to drop and then tag team. Naiee is in the ball knocking her over, and Naia is bait / tearing her legs off one by one. As we got the spider ex-girlfriend on her last two legs she stabs Naia through the stomach. Dad wakes up in a panic and I’m hoping it’s a fake out or something.
We leave the spider’s nest, Naiee supporting Naia. There’s a landslide so we slide down some ice and find the tree of life. The Naia is looking rough. The tree is absolutely stunning. The Naia gives Naiee a flask telling him to climb the tree, he’ll be fine. At the top of the tree there’s a well of some kind. Surely this can save dad and the Naia, right? If I have to choose between the two, I’d rather save the Naia we’ve been playing with the whole time. Please don’t let it be too late.
Naiee gets to the bottom of the tree, maybe he’s sleeping? We give him some of the water, he doesn’t wake. My heart shatters as Naiee is calling out for his Naia. We didn’t get to say goodbye. Naia's last words were probably “Go, get the water to save dad! I’ll be fine, I love you.”
Thematically, it’s raining as Naiee grieves over his loss. He imagines Naia giving him one final hug but both of us don’t want to let go. Naiee buries his sibling and I thought we may get another fake out because we’re burying him near the roots of the tree but there’s no such luck. Guess who shows up to the funeral? The griffin from earlier! A welcome sight for sore eyes, we leave our brother and hitch a ride back to the village. The ride back is filled with sights from our journey and it feels somber because we are journeying alone.
It is raining in the village and the tide is high and we must make it back to the doctor’s house alone. We make it to the edge of the water and if we are to make it, we’ll have to swim. Mom’s ghost comes and encourages us. The little brother hugs his mom goodbye and heads into the water. The mechanics work the same as when you had the Naia. Symbolically, you are still clutching to your brother.
We made it to the other side and we get to redo the first puzzle of the game. Luckily, Naiee is stronger now and can hulk the lever. He leaps up and collapses at the door of the doctor’s house.
Some time has passed. Naiee is looking out into the water. My first thought was sadness thinking he lost both his dad and his brother in one day. We journey up to mom’s grave and there’s dad. Our family table on the back porch still has 3 chairs. Dad is standing next to two graves: one large, one small. There is silence between us for a few moments. We share a few awkward glances before dad collapses to the ground in tears. The camera pans out towards the mountains and our griffin takes to the sky one last time before he credits roll.
Thank you for reading my post on Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I hope it was helpful and informative. If you liked it, please share with your friends and comment down below what you think about the game. I'll see you in the next post!