Sunday, May 12

Review: My Big Sister [Nintendo Switch eShop]


Bite-sized experiences can be a life saver for some titles. Similar to the way things like SNL skits work for a few minutes but when stretched into a full-length movie they fall apart there are games that work similarly. Whether the premise is thin, the action gets repetitive, or there’s just something that isn’t quite sustainable after a few hours you’ve had your fill and it can work. That’s the scenario I see for My Big Sister, a sort of point-and-click adventure, horror game that has a bizarre story to work through but whose mechanics are pretty well dull and linear.


The game revolves around a younger girl named Luzia and her relationship with her big sister Sombria, and the circumstances of their story are quite dark. Kidnapped by strangers things took a sinister turn and as you work through the story you’ll put together the pieces of what happened and try to work to a resolution involving what Sombria has become. Though the game uses pixel art the more unusual and violent aspects of the story are sufficiently clear and it can be effective.


The shame is that mechanically the adventure-esque elements that keep the narrative moving along tend to be so weak as a whole. Search to find items, use said items to get through an obstacle. While the adventure genre typically struggles with obtuse solutions to problems, requiring you use an item or combination of items in some unorthodox way, here there’s really not a lot of thought put into things. In general you’ll just be able to brute force your way through without much consideration.


Put this together and I’d say as long as you’re down for the unusual and somewhat violent story the game does a fairly good job of toeing the line of overstaying its welcome. There’s enough that happens that you can enjoy it without frustration completely setting in with the gameplay itself. It’s at least something a bit different, though given the weak mechanics of the “play” I wonder if it would have been better off as just a visual novel.

Score: 7

Pros:
  • If you’re looking for something a bit dark it delivers
  • Long enough to tell a story but short enough not to dwell on its shortcomings

Cons:
  • The adventure aspects, solving simple puzzles and getting by obstacles, are uniformly weak and linear
  • It may not be as shocking as horror fans would prefer but a bit heavy for everyone else