The Other Brothers might playfully appropriate Super Mario Bros imagery – this time, the blue collar siblings are actually mechanics, battling against the mafia in a gorgeous, grittily pixellated urban setting – but it’s by no means a parody. At its core Tobgame’s game is doggedly faithful, right down to the controls.
A virtual d-pad accompanied by B and A buttons are your only inputs, and the former in particular is ill-suited to the precise platforming demanded in The Other Brothers’ often intricate levels. Climbing chains is particularly hazardous, since the d-pad’s habit of repositioning itself whenever you move your thumb makes minute adjustments liable to send you tumbling down into the pit below. The rest of the time there’s a certain amount of fun to be had hopping around these dirty, industrial levels, but there’s no escaping the fact that, like its inspiration, The Other Brothers is a platform game, but unlike any Mario game you can mention it’s simply not a pleasure to control.
While levels can be completed simply by charging to the exit, there’s a focus on hoovering up collectibles here that compounds the problem, as you’re encouraged to deftly jump to obscure corners of the map and even replay levels with an eye on improving your score. The artwork goes some way to redeeming The Other Brothers; for all the detail to be found in the backgrounds and sprites, everything moves fluidly, but ultimately this is still a platforming game on the wrong platform.
The Other Brothers is available on the App Store for $2.59 / £1.49.