My Big Sister
Switch version tested
Review code provided
Indie RPG adventure My Big Sister arrived on the Nintendo Switch eShop May 10th in all its horrific glory thanks to the steady flow of ports expertly crafted by the team at Ratalaika Games. No Switch, worry not because the game is also available on Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PSVita.
Originally developed by Stranga Games this unique tale will leave you scratching your head for much of the roughly 2-3 hour experience as twists and turns unfold at a horrifying rate. It gives flashbacks of Twin Peaks and The Outer Limits at times with the bizarre and often bonkers events that unfold. Set in a fantastical world that sees you play Luzia, a young girl with a wicked sense of humour, as you follow her journey to make it back home after her older sister is kidnapped. Her older sister Sombria or ‘Sombie’ as she often is referenced is the key to everything and unlocking the cycle the pair have become stuck within or is she. All is not what it seems.
My Big Sister plays from a top-down perspective like many retro RPG adventure games and is reminiscent of the greats. There are a number of similarities that can be found with the likes of Links Awakening on the Gameboy if it were crossed with the magical world of Spirited Away by Studio Ghibli. Visually the game does a good job, it has a beautifully eerie aesthetic that runs through it often with a dark undertone. The game even provides a warning about the graphic nature on the initial loading screen.
The story is split across eleven chapters and involves many of the expected elements from the genre. The gameplay mechanics will have Luzia talking to the local NPC’s as a means to gather new and often vital information for story progression, solving puzzles and collecting items. Controls are more than functional with a simplistic setup and barebones inventory system that fulfils the intended purpose. Collected items are used to gain access to previously unavailable areas or traded with those around, occasionally combined to create something new. Although the main story isn’t overly long there is some replayability value thanks to the inclusion of alternative endings which come into play depending on the choices made in the final chapter.
There are a few minor issues, the game is presented in a square ratio with a spooky border on each side. It would have been nice to see the aspect fully optimised for the Switch screen. There were also a number of instances where the local NPC’s ran out of speech options reverting to looping through information already provided until the requested steps had been achieved some of which weren’t that obvious. It’s a trait of the genre but did become a little frustrating when stuck. The game isn’t difficult but a couple of the puzzles didn’t seem to have an obvious solution.
My Big Sister is a twisted tale that tests the limits of sanity and what is real. The visual style adds to the tone of the game with its disturbingly cute and dark undertones. Some of the dialogue is a little OTT but the underlying message is one that will get you thinking and keep you guessing until the end. The addition of alternative endings adds to the replayability of this enjoyable adventure.
TBG Score: 8/10
Platform: Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation4, PSVita, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 10/05/2019
No. of Players: 1
Category: Adventure, RPG
Developer: Stranga Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop