Brave: The Search for Spirit Dancer Review


Brave is one of those games that is almost good. It has a novel setting and some interesting ideas, but it ultimately doesnít know what to do with them. The result is a game that amounts to just another platformer on a system with a library thatís full of them.

Brave is not only the title of the game, itís the name of your character as well. Brave is a young Native American who begins to learn the way of the shaman from a tribal elder. His training soon becomes the ďon the jobĒ variety when a demonic power threatens his idyllic village. As Brave you must begin a quest to find the legendary shaman Spirit Dancer so that he can vanquish the evil threat and save the village.

Being a shaman has its advantages, and as you play your power will grow. Youíll derive special abilities by finding tokens imbued with power. Some are basic abilities and moves as far as platform games are concerned such as a golden fish token that allows you to dive under the surface of water and a squirrel token that gives you the ability to climb up vine-covered walls and trees. Others will give you more advanced powers such as tracking skills, shapeshifting ability, or the ability to call to animals for help.

There are a variety of powers at your disposal, but the ability that youíll use the most throughout the game is jumping. Your powers are simply underutilized in the game as youíll hop and double-jump your way through most of the levels. It also doesnít do much for the experience that the levels are rigidly linear in design. Scoot your way from A to B and then itís on to the next area. There are puzzles in the game, but they are painfully simple and just in case you still donít get it the game will practically tell you how to get past each one.

I canít help but feel that with better level design Brave could have been the next Zelda. If the shamanistic powers were applied to more difficult and imaginative puzzles and the levels were big enough to encourage exploration, the game could have been a lot more compelling experience. As it stands though, itís a generic platformer in a mot so generic setting.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 68%. If Brave showed some bravery in its level design, it could have been a lot better game than it is.