Brawlin Sailor: Play as Popeye

Brawlin Sailor

Play as a Popeye like Musclebound Sailor and Rescue the Damsel

Brawlin' Sailor. One doesn't need to be a genius to guess what the game is about, yes you guessed it, the hero is a Sailor and he, erm, well, he brawls. This is achieved in the tried and tested method of a 2D side scrolling beat 'em up with arrow keys controlling left, right, jump and the A key for attacking the waves of pirates, giant sized bosses and bits of scenery our Brawlin' hero comes across as he progresses through the game.

The hero in this piece is a tough looking sailor, complete with rippling muscles ( as oppose to mussels - forgive the poor attempt at a sea faring pun) tattoos and a scarred up face where he lost an eye, one assumes, in some previous brawling incident. Think Popeye on performance enhancing drugs and your somewhere near the mark.

The attacks take the form of a repeat cycle each time the attack button is pressed, punch, kick, uppercut, uppercut and, whilst all inflict the same amount of damage, the uppercut is by far the most satisfying.

As the game opens our hero receives a note calling for his help to save the princess who is being held captive. Arriving in his row boat on the shores of "Seckrit Island" where she is imprisoned he is greeted by a wave after wave of Bandana clad, dagger wielding pirates who must be battled through to reach the princess. These guys come thick and fast and from both directions and while they don't take more than a couple of hits to die, if you are too slow you can easily get overwhelmed.

As well as the pirates to brawl with there are plenty of barrels and doors to be smashed to smithereens as you progress across the island and up into the lighthouse where the princess is locked away in a room filled with glittering treasure.

As the game progresses there are a couple of giant sized bosses to dispatch, which to be fair is not much of a challenge but nonetheless fun.

You could be forgiven in thinking this is a very simple game design and is a genre already well catered for by other browser games such as Mug Smashers or Hong Kong Ninja but the gameplay style is where the predictability ends because aside from the mechanics of the game everything else is fresh and original.

Right from the opening loading screen you can tell this is something a little bit different. The graphics are hand drawn ink sketch style and look great in simple black ink on a white background, hats off to the artist and animator. The game is chock full of great humour and mini cameos. This is the kind of game you will play over several times just to see if there is something you missed.

The only slight niggle in terms of gameplay comes in timing your jumps in the lighthouse section which can become frustrating but with a little perseverance is soon mastered.

I am not entirely sure if this is a computer game or an interactive animated short film, and to be honest it doesn't matter how it is labelled, I just love it.

This is a short game, but the develop Major Beuno (MaruisWinter and Benedict Hummel) apparently completed the game in 4 days, which frankly is amazing.

The game is certainly more of a sprint than a marathon covering only two levels which essentially are the same level twice just with minor variations and endings which I will not ruin for you in this review. It won't take more than ten minutes from start to end and to be honest I was left wanting more.

That being said, I would love to see Major Beuno use this style with a more complex game mechanic, if they can produce this in 4 days then heavens only know what they could come up with given a longer time frame.

If your looking for a short but fun game and like something a little different then Brawlin' Sailor is the game for you.

Play Brawlin Sailor