ESRB Rating: Teen (Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence)
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Release Date: May 10, 2019
You play as twelve-year-old Luzia as she sets out to save her big sister, Sombria. Luzia has been plagued with nightmares about her sister, who just brushed them off. Until something happens to her. Even then Sombria doesn’t believe her younger sister can help her. But Luzia is determined! Witches, curses, noodles, and lies!
The story does deal heavily with depression, suicide, abandonment, and abuse.
My Big Sister uses retro pixel art, no surprise there. It’s not my favorite pixel art, but it doesn’t look bad. It’s clear what almost everything is, although sometimes doorways are hard to see.
There is a lot of pixelated blood in this game. I wouldn’t describe it as gory, since there’s no real details. But it’s obvious when something gruesome has happened on the screen. There’s also a bit of nudity, but again, no details, just the general vibe of nakedness. And there is a jump scare. It got me good!
Sound Effects + Music:
The sound effects in My Big Sister are very minimal, mainly just footsteps and occasionally some ambient noises. There is background music, which is subtly creepy and shifts tone as the scenes call for it.
The main game has no voice acting. All of the dialogue is text boxes with that generic clicking sound that’s used for every retro-inspired RPG. You know the one. But I will mention that there is some voiced dialogue at one point and I thought I was imagining it at first, because…well, things get weird(er) real fast.
Gameplay + Controls:
My Big Sister is a point-and-click horror adventure, so there’s not much in terms of controls. You can walk, run, and interact with objects. When something can be interacted with a red exclamation point appears over Luzia’s head. Sometimes it is difficult to get her in the correct position to interact, since you have to be lined up perfectly. And like I said earlier, sometimes it’s hard to get through doorways, since you can’t clearly see what’s an entry/exit point and what’s just more wall.
The gameplay is pretty light, with the focus being on this twisted story. There are no complicated puzzles to solve. Simply find the hidden objects, use them or give them to the appropriate person, and that’s it. There is quite a bit of back-and-forth, but each area is fairly small and linear so it’s not time consuming. Most of your time will be spent reading what the characters have to say, which usually has not-so subtle clues on where you need to go and what you have to do next.
My Big Sister does have six different endings based on your actions during the adventure. I got two of them on my own, then pulled up a guide to see how to get the others. It’s pretty straightforward: just use your final two items on different objects/people in different orders and you’ll get different endings.
I liked My Big Sister, but I guess I didn’t “get” the endings. The story had a lot of twists and was actually kind of confusing by the end. I’m still not sure exactly what was going on with Sombria and Luzia. I enjoyed the dark game play; it was just the ending(s) that left me feeling underwhelmed.
Took me about 3 hours to play through the two endings, which isn’t bad at all. It’s a worth a play, but don’t expect a huge finale.
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