If you enjoy simple adventure titles, Brume is sure to impress. Although short in length, the game delivers big in the realm of charm and innovative mechanics. That’s because this indie RPG is inspired by an impressive mix of fantasy stories, including Dark Souls and Tolkien.
Roped in by the awesome 3D graphics and upcoming Steam release, I set out to review the current build from Itch. Join me as I traverse the foggy landscape on a quest to uncover the secrets hidden within Brume.
The Fog of War
I’ve just entered the World of Brume, and already there are signs of danger. Before me lies a small pile of battle equipment, foreshadowing the bloody battles ahead. Hesitantly, I pick up the sword and shield and equip them to my person.
Suddenly, I spot something moving in the foggy mist just ahead. I tighten the grip on my mouse as my character takes firm hold of his sword. Then, I take a deep breath and lunge forward, entering the fog of war.
The Forgotten Island
Entering the World of Brume is reminiscent of those old dungeon crawlers that drop you into the midst of a battle with no warning. There is no tutorial. There are no guides. Only the eerie silence of a soundtrack-less forest and insidious creatures lurking in the shadows.
But don’t let this daunting introduction deter you. There are only a few different keys to use, and they’re very intuitive. Your main controls? WASD for movement, and the left and right mouse buttons to attack and block.
Before long you’ll be dancing around the map, well-positioned for enemy encounters. Still, you’ll need to pay careful attention to your stamina bar. Each swing of your sword and block with your shield quickly drains your reserves. And you’ll need all the energy you can get if you hope to survive this forgotten island.
Blood, Sweat, and Tears
Brume’s battle mechanics are very difficult, and the slightest mistake will cost you dearly. As such, you’ll need to be on guard the entire game, lest you become a tasty snack for the inhabitants of the island.
Naturally, there are a variety of different creatures found in Brume, and each one has its own health level, speed, and attack style. Study their movement patterns and you’ll soon learn how to best defeat them. But that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.
Fortunately, the reward is worth the fight. And what is the reward, exactly? The blood of your enemies, of course.
No joke! Your magic amulet lets you collect the blood of fallen enemies, which acts as the game’s currency. Use it at a campfire to heal up, or increase your vitality and endurance levels for the boss fights to come.
Short but Sweet
Continue on your journey, as you power up your character and ready yourself for the difficulty ahead. Each victory against a major opponent earns you an increasingly powerful weapon, and these are crucial for late-game encounters (which I’m not going to spoil here).
Overall, this early version of Brume is quite exhilarating and sure to get the ‘ol adrenaline pumping. It’s a rousing good time, and well worth the $3 price tag.
One caveat? The lack of UI throughout the game. It would be awesome to have a visual inventory or stat screen. It wouldn’t have to be extensive, as the lack of complicated menus actually fits the theme of the game. But it still feels like it’s missing a little something.
Honestly, I can’t wait to see what the developer and his indie game collective, Sockpop, bring to the final iteration.
Adventure Elements (6/10)
Brume is still in an early form, and there is a lot of new content planned for the official Steam launch.
At the moment, a full playthrough takes a little under an hour. That said, you’re sure to enjoy the difficult battle system and open-world map. The foundational adventure mechanics are incredibly sound and absolutely warrant the planned expansion and Steam release.
Art Elements (7/10)
Brume offers a feeling of mystery and magic. Although the 2D graphics are incredibly simple and heavily pixelated, that’s exactly the art style this game needs. It complements the simple gameplay and difficult mechanics to a tee.
That said, the game currently lacks a soundtrack. The sound effects are there, but a full version of the game needs some background ambiance. Combined with more fleshed out content, this would definitely bring Brume to the next level.
Brume is available on PC, Mac, and Linux. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s take a closer look at Brume’s specifications on PC:
- Game Modes: Campaign
- Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux
- Genre: Adventure RPG
- Developer: Sockpop
- Release: 2019
- Price: Early access $3 / Full version TBA
- Business Model: Game Sales
- PC System Requirements: 500MB Storage, 4MB RAM, DX9 Graphics, Windows 7+
Brume is an exciting adventure across a forgotten island full of intrigue. In fact, I continued to discover new things halfway through my play session, which only added to the excitement. For such a simple game, its depth is seriously unreal. I can’t wait to play the full version once it’s released on Steam.
Brume Early Access Preview
Game title: Brume
Game description: Pick up your sword and shield, and journey through the fog of this forgotten island. But be wary! It’ll take everything you’ve got to stay alive and overcome the Forsaken Keep.
Adventure Elements - 6/10
Art Elements - 7/10
Brume is a simple RPG with difficult battle mechanics, and an ambient setting that’s sure to whet your fantasy appetite.
- Beautiful environment
- Thrilling battle system
- Easy to learn; difficult to master
- Short playthrough
- Lack of menus
- No soundtrack