Screenshots don’t do this game justice, Brutal Orchestra is a great time. The music, the art, the narration (if you’d call it that) and the short yet meaningful interactions you have are all… weird yet alluring. The game takes place in purgatory. But not some biblical version. If you escaped the waiting room in Beetlejuice, something like Brutal Orchestra is what might await you outside.
The game plays like a mix of a rogue-lite and a turned based rpg. You amass a party and set forth, all the while collecting treasure, leveling up, and running into random encounters. Most of its gameplay is fairly derivative, but the environment is slightly absurd and comically disturbing. If Tim Burton made a video game, it would probably look and feel something like this.
Being able to recruit party members is fun, and they grow on you as you invest in them on you rise to power. Brutal Orchestra uses a unique ability system that rewards you when you use it correctly and punishes you when you pay it no attention. Some fights did seem a bit too difficult, but I never felt I lost a battle unfairly.
The art looks good, but much better in action. Everything moves and feels fluid. I didn’t even know I had finished the tutorial until I was told it was over. While the battle or upgrade systems aren’t very unique, the charm of its actors really shines. The soundtrack is unintrusive yet catchy enough to keep you listening for your favorite track. You can feel the effort was placed into this game, and the sum of all its parts will surely keep me coming back for more.
I definitely recommend Brutal Orchestra to newbie and veteran rogue-lite fans. The coat of paint they apply to the genre is so fresh and vibrant that you’ll forget you’re playing just another perma-death rpg.