Hurray and celebration, the PS4 now has another point and click gem to add to its bulging bag of brilliant indie goodness. Set in a sleepy and isolated German town in the 1960’s, Trüberbrook is a gorgeous mystery adventure. Physicist HansTannhauser wins a competition he doesn’t remember entering and his prize is a stay in the peculiar Trüberbrook. The strange competition is just the first of many mysteries and it’s not long before Tannhauser realises there’s more to the town than first meets the eye. With its beautifully blatant Twin Peaks influence, Trüberbrook is a charming oddity of a game and a welcome adventure on the PS4.
I’m afraid I can’t go any further with the review without talking about the graphics. I tend to add on a few lines about a game’s graphics near the end of a review because it’s usually my least important factor when sizing up a new game. But slap me with a bratwurst and smear my boobies with hasenpferrer, Trüberbrook is BEAUTIFUL. The environments are real miniature models, all handmade and captured with a 3D scanner and blended with the animated characters. I have no idea how that works and I had to look it up on the game’s website to even describe the effect. What I can say is that it looks very unique and so gorgeous. The lighting is incredible, from a stuttering street light, to coloured bulbs strung across a street fair to the Northern Lights shimmering in the backgrounds. There are deep shadows, shining pools of water and brightly coloured leaves on the trees. Yes, Trüberbrook is the most stunning point and click game I’ve ever played.
Trüberbrook is surprising in so many ways. We’ve started with the graphics but the story is also pretty amazing. I mentioned Twin Peaks earlier and that inspiration becomes immediately apparent the moment Tannhauser pulls out a Dictaphone and addresses an unseen woman named Beverly. This is no ordinary town and your job is to discover what on earth is going on. I don’t want to spoil anything for you so I won’t say too much more than that. There’s around seven hours of gameplay to enjoy and although that may initially seem short, in actuality it feels about right. The story never drags or dulls. It unfolds at a gracious pace and never outstays its welcome.
Of course to uncover this story, you’ll have to solve a multitude of puzzles. These are in the same vein as any decent point and click. Use cheese-on-a-stick with… no spoilers here! Trüberbrook’s puzzles are just that little bit more whacky than average and often hark back to the golden age of ludicrous solutions à la Monkey Island etc. They are both crazy and crazy fun. You’ll never believe where that cheese-on-a-stick goes. Some of the puzzles are real thinkers and they’ll rely on you remembering things you’ve seen, what you’ve picked up and what you’re trying to achieve, but sometimes you’ll stumble over a solution you never could have imagined but will make a weird and twisted sort of sense. After a while the game’s outlandish puzzles become like a language you’ve finally learned.
The control system of any point and click game on a console always need to be considered. They can make or break a game of this type. As luck would have it the developers are a clever bunch because they’re produced one of the best systems I’ve seen on PS4. One stick walks the characters around and the other moves the cursor. You can swish the cursor around the screen to find items of interest for yourself or you can hold L1 to identify the scene’s hotspots. Whichever way you chose to play, the cursor will snap to the hotspot if you ease up on the stick while swishing. A small circle will appear with options to look, use, use item or talk. There four options are laid out inside the circle to correspond with the PS4’s D-pad buttons. It’s very simple, quick and feels very natural.
With its beautiful environments, Trüberbrook is a proper stunner. Sturdy controls, hilariously random puzzles and quirky characters further add accessibility, charm and humour to an already outstanding point and click experience. Just watch where you point that cheese-on-a-stick.
SJ Hollis Rating – 8.5/10
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