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Pilot Brothers 2

Pilot Brothers 2


Developer: Gamos The title screen.The title screen.
Released: 1998.12.02
Genre: Mystery / Comedy
Graphics: Cartoon / 2D
Perspective: Third person
Gameplay: Point-and-Click










Pilot Brothers 2 is a very straightforward sequel to Pilot Brothers, the first game in the series, both based on Russian animation characters, named Brother Chief and Brother Collegue. Just like the first installment in the series, this too was originally released as a Russian version, but later released as an international version. This review is based on the 2014 international release. The game itself is more or less the same, there are only a couple of new language options. And whereas the international version of the first game had several language options, this sequel has much fewer to choose from, only Russian, German, and English. English language option doesn't even have English overdubs, like the first installment had, instead the original Russian audio is played with English texts. That works just fine, but is somewhat ironic, as the sequel has more meaningful dialogue than the first game, despite its shorter length.

Da, da, the game is very short, comrade. The first game too was small scale, with only 15 areas to play, but this sequel only has 9. While game length is never a good measure for anything, in all fairness, this is one of the shortest commercial adventure games ever released. The sequel was probably developed very fast, as it reuses many assets from the first game, and is basically using the very same gameplay as the first one. If there was nothing broken, nothing was fixed, it makes sense.

Unfortunately the same problems that the first game had are still present in the sequel. While the puzzles seem to be a bit more logical, there is still much random trial and error, most annoyingly with some non-labeled hotspots from the very first screen. Of course by now players who have finished the first game know what to expect, so this probably isn't a major problem. A positive thing is that this sequel tells a story more than the first game did, even if with only few areas to go through the story doesn't develop much, but at least the story structure is clearer in the sequel.

Protagonists in the action.Protagonists in the action.
And yes, the story is again quite bizarre. A creature called Sumo steals a cat in order to eat it, and the task for the detective protagonists is to follow the leads, question witnesses and save the cat. At least the motive for the crime is very clear now, the traditional cartoon plot where somebody is trying to eat someone. Going through areas will be sort of self-explanatory, in a town area the player sees a sign saying "вокзал" (train station in Russian, the graphics haven't been translated) and when arriving at the train station, the task is to leave the station on rails somehow. In between areas animated clips are shown, but these do not directly relate to the story, although at least they kind of give an answer to the question, why steal a cat. These clips are only in Russian, which may make them more difficult to understand.

Players get to control both Brother Chief and Brother Collegue, and a character icon switches the active character. Both of them can interact with same objects, but most of the time the results differ. Sometimes only one of them can pick up an object, sometimes both, sometimes there will be some funny animation played, sometimes nothing happens.
Again animations are the strongest point of the game, as they are very smooth, well done, and amusing. Some character animations are reused from the first game though.

The game has much more adventure feeling than the first game did.The game has much more adventure feeling than the first game did.
Getting stuck in the game is made impossible by having a hint button and a walkthrough video button in every area. What is a clear improvement from the first game is that watching a video hint will not reset the scene, but all items which are picked up or used somehow will remain that way even when exiting the video. Once there was a glitch where the game somehow jumped to the next area without the previous one being completed. All played areas will end up as photographs that allow revisiting any area, so even with glitches like that, one can always go back. There is no other kind of save game mechanism.

Audio in the game consists of tunes, which are not as amusing as in the first game, some sound effects, and of course dialogues, which like previously said, are available only in Russian or German, but in English gameplay only in Russian.

The game is what one would expect from a sequel, more of the same. Some things are done a bit better, some maybe a bit worse, but overall, it's easy to revisit the franchise knowing exactly what one is going to get. The game is very short, but in its own category, works well as long as it lasts. For people not familiar with Russian culture some things can be a bit challenging, like why is a picture of a plane labeled "TU-104" and not "airplane" (TU stands for Tupolev, an aircraft manufacturer, and 104 is a model produced in 1950-60). On the other hand, playing the game certainly looks and feels different than games from some other countries, so it's a cultural value in itself. Pilot Brothers 2 will not please each and every adventurer, but most would probably enjoy it for a little while that it lasts.

The door (turnstile) is locked.The door (turnstile) is locked.



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