Editorials

Review: Trüberbrook

A small team from Germany called BTF was successful in funding their Kickstarter campaign in only thirty hours, bringing their vision of a sci-fi mystery adventure game set in a parallel universe in a rural 1960s Germany to reality. Their determination to detail and hand-crafted scenery that was illustrated throughout the campaign was a defining factor in its funding and we will investigate whether this is all that will be remembered, or if there is more than meets the eye within the rural town of Trüberbrook.

Trüberbrook follows Hans Tannhauser, a quantum physicist, who has recently won a trip to the small rural town of Trüberbrook even though he does not recall entering any contest. His fascination of the area and its inhabitants results in many voice recording entries as he explores the isolated town. However, his first night is met with an abrupt awakening as he witnesses an unidentified individual stealing his notes from his room. His search for the thief and the recovery of his notes leads him on an adventure that will have him teaming up with an anthropologist named Gretchen Lemke. Together they explore the town, its surroundings, and uncover a mystery that will require Hans’ knowledge, resourcefulness, and problem solving skills to save the world.

The defining feature of Trüberbrook is the unique visual presentation that BTF has created for our visual delight. Each scene was hand-crafted by the team to ensure their vision was perfectly captured through every detail. The models were digitized using a technique called photogrammetry and later retopologized into the scene. It is also impressive to state that real lights were utilized to not only light the scenes, but also to create weather effects and a change in the hours of the day. The opening scene of the Volkswagen bus scaling the mountainside was very impressive and perfectly set the tone of the visuals you would expect from the rest of the experience.

Players will spend the majority of their time interacting with the inhabitants of Trüberbrook as they possess the information you require, but they will only provide assistance once you retrieve a specific item for them. Chapter four presents you with a fair held in the town square and you will find yourself running around like a madman as completing a task for one individual means doing something for two other people first. The tasks are not that difficult, but it is the running back and forth which gets a little tiresome. However, it is important that you speak with every character in each chapter because they will continuously have new information to share which will be beneficial to your adventure.

Outside of completing tasks for individuals there are also a few puzzles that will need to be solved. My favourite dealt with lighting various inscriptions in the proper sequence to gain entrance to a secret laboratory. You have to highlight them in the order of oldest to most modern while any hiccup will result in starting over.

Some minor issues that were experienced dealt with pacing and voice acting. The prologue and first few chapters propelled the story forward at a perfect pace as more information was being revealed and you felt a sense of accomplishment, but then chapter four felt too long as you were travelling back and forth repeatedly to hand in various quests to different individuals within the town. It was more overwhelming in terms of what needed to be done when compared to previous chapters, so it perhaps would have been best to lessen the amount of tasks, or split the chapter in two.

There are also brief moments where the voice acting would result in a loss of an immersive experience as it felt forced and out of place. This was mostly experienced with Gretchen, but there was also the odd phrase from Hans too.

Trüberbrook will take players around six hours to complete and that includes taking time to appreciate the beauty of the unique hand-crafted visuals. The atmosphere perfectly captures a rural German town from the 1960s thanks to the vision and dedication of the development team at BTF. Fans of point and click adventure games will definitely want to take a look at Trüberbrook as it has something to offer to everyone.

[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]

The Good
  • Unique visuals
  • Charming atmosphere
  • Interesting characters
The Bad
  • Pacing issues
  • Voice acting needs improvement
  • Tasks require you run back and forth repeadtedly
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