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Game Review

Ever heard of the game Hitman? You know, the video actioner where you pilot an inscrutable assassin through various locales and figure out how to use your environment to murder specific targets in bloody ways?

Well, The Sexy Brutale is nothing like that. But in a way … it is. Instead of using your environs to take down people, you're using those environs to save them.

Stop the Crime in Time

The very strange-sounding title of this quirky and creative little game refers to a casino mansion run by an enigmatic figure called the Marquis. And every year, our digital host throws a famous yearly masked ball that's open to all of the local hoi polloi—commoners like you and me.

Gamers operate as an elderly mansion guest named Lafcadio Boone. He finds himself waking up in one of the mansion's parlors, stirred by a strange female apparition who rises out of a mystical pool of what may be blood. But she's not there to torment good old Laffy. She wants him—you—to help her stop a series of murders that will soon be orchestrated all over the expansive mansion. It seems that the ornate ball masks that everyone wears are somehow controlling the staff members and driving them to kill all the guests during the course of one 12-hour day.

How is it possible to be everywhere at once and impact all that mystical skullduggery? Well, you can't. But that ghostly lady has gifted you with a time-rewinding pocket watch that will allow you to observe the details and pick up the environmental clues of one or two murders at a time. And then you have to figure out how to put a stop to them before moving on to the next puzzling mystery.

Instead of figuring out how to end your mark, as you would in Hitman or plenty of other bloody shooters, you're putting all your Columbo-like clue-gathering skills to the task of heroically keeping them upright. And if the clock ticks out during your first, second or third attempt, you can always go back and give it another shot.

The tough part is that you can never actually be in a room with any other person in the mansion. If you do, your outside-of-time abilities start to go haywire in a fiery fashion. So you must creep around, peering through keyholes and evesdropping on the character vignettes at play. Then, as you surreptitiously snip wires, replace bullets with blanks and generally foil a baddie's hanky panky and jiggery-pokery, you save a victim and gain their ball mask—each one of which gives you heightened senses and special abilities to solve the more difficult mysteries ahead.

More Dark Than Sex

For all of The Sexy Brutale's creative intrigue and put-your-mind-to-the-task fun, though, potential gamers should be aware of the dark lurking in these T-rated doings. Spirits of the dead roam about. Voodoo-like gadgets are thrown in the mix. And though it's all loosely explained by the end, things can feel murky and supernaturally sinister during certain turned corners in the game. By the time we reach the surprising final chapter, it's easy to see the whole of this manslaughter-soiree as something of a curse; a dark torment of one man's guilty soul.

Then, there are the murders. The animation is broad and colorful, but pools of blood do bubble up. People are electrocuted, crushed in giant metal jaws, bitten by an enormous spider, burned to death and shot. One character appears to be demonically hypnotized into hanging herself. And another drinks so heavily that he might have keeled over from alcohol poisoning if he hadn't actually slugged back a shot of poisonous venom. No dialogue is ever "spoken", but there is some foul language and blasphemes spit out in the printed interactions.

Even though your discerning eyebrow might have cocked over that "Sexy" part of the game's title, there's really nothing racy or risqué in this cartoonishly animated mansion celebration. There is, however, all that dark twist in the "tale" to be aware of. And quite a bit of "brutal" to boot.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

T

Readability Age Range

Genre

Puzzle

Author

Cast

Director

Distributor

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC

Publisher

Tequila Works

Released

April 12, 2017

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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