Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (2013)

by Nish
7 minutes read


A groundbreaking adventure that explores the bonds of family and the lengths to which we go for love, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is an unforgettable experience that blends gameplay and story in new, meaningful ways.


Embark on a heartfelt journey with Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game that transcends conventional storytelling in video games through its innovative gameplay mechanics and profound narrative.


“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” is a 2013 adventure game developed by Starbreeze Studios and published by 505 Games. The game is set in a fantasy world filled with fictitious creatures such as orcs and trolls. The narrative revolves around two young brothers who embark on a journey to find a cure for their father’s illness.

The story begins with a boy named Naiee standing at the tombstone of his dead mother who drowned at sea while he was unable to save her. After the ghost of his mother comforts him, his older brother, Naia, calls him to help their ill father reach the village’s doctor. The doctor tells them the only way to save him is by collecting the water from the Tree of Life.

The brothers embark on their journey through the village, hills, and mountains, facing challenges such as the local bully, a farmer’s aggressive dog, and deadly wolves. They help others along the way – reuniting a troll couple, saving a man attempting suicide, and aiding an inventor.

The game is presented from a third-person view overlooking the two brothers. The brothers are moved individually by two thumbsticks on the controller. The controller triggers cause the respective brother to interact with the game world, such as talking to a non-player character or grabbing onto a ledge or object.

The older brother is the stronger of the two and can pull levers or boost his younger brother to higher spaces, while the younger one can pass between narrow bars. The player progresses by manipulating the two brothers at the same time to complete various puzzles, often requiring the player to manipulate both brothers to perform differing functions.

All of the in-game dialogue is spoken in a fictional language based on Lebanese Arabic, thus the story is conveyed through actions, gestures, and expressions. The game is often mentioned as an example of artistry in video games due to its heavy narrative. It received positive reviews from critics and had sold over 800,000 units by January 2015.

“Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” is a beautiful and sometimes darkly mature echo of the fairytales that taught us about the world as children. Throughout the journey of two siblings trying to save their dying father, players experience themes of death and acceptance that hit them on an extremely personal level.

The game is also extremely innovative in how it leaves much of its world-building and character development in the hands of the players. Each area, character, and object contains its own piece of the story, and it’s up to the players to assemble those bits as they progress through their journey.


The main characters are the two brothers: the older brother, strong and capable of performing tasks that require brute force, and the younger brother, nimble and able to fit through tight spaces.


The gameplay is centered around the simultaneous control of the two brothers with a single controller, a mechanic that symbolizes their dependence on each other. The game features a variety of puzzles that require the unique abilities of each brother to solve.


Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a masterclass in video game storytelling and design, leaving a lasting impact on players with its emotional narrative and innovative gameplay.

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