brok the investigator review gameplay

BROK the InvestiGator review

Point-and-click adventure might be, perhaps, the most traditional genre ever. It is a genre firmly planted in nostalgia and tried and true mechanics, with a few exceptions of course, and experiments are definitely rare. Slightly older gamers may recall platformer/adventure Cosmic Spacehead or the FPS adventure Realms of the Haunting. So, we should praise BROK the InvestiGator for trying something different, and its hybrid beat ’em up and point-and-click adventure style certainly is different.

brok the investigator review beat em up gameplay

We meet P.I. Brok in media res, as he’s busy saving a woman from a house fire, only to then be accused of murder by the very same person he was trying to rescue. It was only a dream, but soon reality will start taking on dark tones as Brok becomes entangled in an apparently simple case of tracking down a policeman’s lost gun. The case will soon link into an overall government conspiracy having to do with AI and robots. Brok’s stepson, Graff, is also involved, and we take turns controlling him in a parallel story, helping with exams and, also, finding out who Brok really is along the way.

Smartly, the game lets the player decide if they want to skip the combat sections, so even those who rolled their eyes at the “beat ’em up” part, can play without fear. Either way, the beat ’em up sections will be the main point of contention for many. Not because they don’t fit in with adventure mechanics – Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis did something similar to a successful degree – but because, overall, the controls are a little stiff, even using the keyboard. While clear attempts were made at making the action gameplay feel an integral part of the design, it can still become frustrating.

brok the investigator review talking

In several situations, the player can decide to approach situations with brains or brawn. Unfortunately, alternative approaches rarely seem to work, if not after several trial-and-error attempts, so players might decide to just come out swinging. This, in later stages, leads to some quite tough and long combat sections, with bosses that add extra difficulty. Still, it is possible to buy health items to restore your hit points, along with doing practice runs to level up and improve strength, health points or special attacks.

BROK features some of the most interesting writing I’ve experienced in an adventure game lately, which also shines thanks to the outstanding voice acting. The adventure is not afraid to tackle mature topics, like censorship, government control or parenthood while going in-depth with each of them. It is no easy feat and during the 9/10 hours of playtime, it sometimes feels BROK tries to tackle too much at one time. But, the writing is not interested in providing easy answers and instead examines each and every problem thoroughly. There is no clear “evil vs good” battle here, everyone is as fractured and imperfect as in real life.

brok the investigator review artwork

Naturally, not offering easy answers, even to its very own plot threads, might indeed turn off gamers looking for clear and simple solutions. Personally, I found it to be the perfect trade-off, the relationship between Brok and his stepson will also lead to several quite emotional moments. They are well earned, since they come from a difficult place, rather than that of straightforward answers and simple “we love each other” relationships. We are all aware that life is not made up of easy answers, and BROK is not interested in giving any either. One might even walk away feeling like the story doesn’t conclude satisfactorily, or perhaps that there’s something still not quite explained in the end.

But, what about the adventure part design? With a well-built in-game hint system – finding stickers around to unlock hints – and some mathematical/logical puzzles, the game seems to offer something for everyone in that regard. Also, there is definitely something to appreciate in how the puzzles are designed differently between BROK and Graff, in the way that the second will face more logical puzzles and BROK more classic inventory-related ones. The design is strong overall and, in keeping with the “no easy answers” vibe, the game has an amazing eleven endings to unlock – with some going very far into a sci-fi-like direction, which was quite unexpected but still sensical. The replayability value is through the roof.

brok the investigator review point and click adventure

Along with classic puzzles to solve, we’ll also be constantly gathering up clues for interrogation sessions. While there are not a lot of those, together with Brok we’ll have to deduce the role of certain people in our investigations, along with finding out what they are hiding from us. This also may lead to different conclusions, depending on the choices we have made in the past along with the clues we have gathered. Graphically the game is just gorgeous, with beautiful comic book portraits for the characters, detailed backgrounds and some animated sequences. As mentioned, the voice acting is top-notch all around as well.

While we can all appreciate adventure games being made by fans for fans, BROK goes one step beyond. This is clearly a game made by a developer who has played a good share of titles and has tried to put in as much of all the good he could find, while also adding their personal spin on it. With beautiful graphics, incredible voice acting, and a thick emotional story with twists and turns, BROK the InvestiGator would be already amazing as an adventure with a big publisher behind it, but for an indie game, it is an incredible accomplishment. One of those cases where the best I can wish is for all the adventure fans to play it and appreciate what Cowcat have developed.

Our BROK the InvestiGator review was created with a review key made available by the developer. BROK the InvestiGator is available on Steam.

Platform : [PC], PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch
Developer: COWCAT
Genre: Point and click adventure
Release Date: August 2022

BROK the InvestiGator: BROK is one of the most accomplished point-and-click adventure games to be published in the last few years. Despite itsbeat em up hybrid style not working all the time, it more than makes up for it with solid writing, beautiful graphics, incredible voice acting and an efficient design. Don't miss it. Voxel Smash Staff

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