Editorial note: The following preview is based on an old build of Kaptain Brawe that was released in April 2006. The game has undergone significant changes since the article was originally posted.
Any mechanical engineering buff might be able to tell you how James Watt’s remarkable improvements on early steam engine designs tremendously contributed to modern technology and the Industrial Revolution. But the upcoming episodic adventure game series called Kaptain Brawe would have us to consider an alternate history. What if the steam engine was never invented? What if James Watt instead developed a “Polar Ion Engine” that lead to astonishing advancements in technology and allowed mankind to reach space in the 18th century?
Named after its main character, the Kaptain Brawe series invites us to explore the stars in a stylish alternate universe. Our fearless hero Kaptain Brawe is a proud member the New Union Space Police. Comparable to the United Nations, the organization accepts members from all nations and strives to maintain peace and harmony across the galaxy. Yet Kaptain Brawe does not quite enjoy the same luxuries as the members of the organization from richer countries. Instead of an awe-inspiring spaceship stuffed with the latest high-tech gizmos, Brawe is stuck with hand-me-down equipment and a wooden robot. Thankfully, Brawe makes up for his lack of advanced technology with the curious wit and cunning bestowed upon the lead characters in adventure games.
The story begins while Brawe is on a regular patrol between Terra Nueva and Jama Spacea. Brawe and his navigator Ensign Kralek receive a distress signal. Perhaps sensing that something is wrong, Kralek asks Brawe to request backup before blindly charging in to help. Yet Brawe knows that every moment might be crucial to the cargo ship sending the signal. Throwing caution to the wind and ignoring Kralek’s pleas to call for backup, Brawe immediately heads towards the vessel. Unfortunately, Brawe’s noble intentions turn out to be a terrible mistake.
Kaptain Brawe quickly finds out that he should have heeded Kralek’s warnings. Before he even has time to fully comprehend what is going on, Brawe finds himself labeled as an outlaw and being chased by the police. In order to get himself out of the mess he unwittingly created, Brawe will have to embark on a long journey across space.
Split into a series of episodes, the game will feature cartoon-like graphics and traditional point-and-click game play mechanics. Judging from the screenshots currently available, players can expect beautifully-drawn detailed backgrounds reminiscent of the Monkey Island series and the first two Broken Sword games. The merging of 18th century furnishings with space-age technology gives Kaptain Brawe quite a distinct look.
The game is expected to feature a good number of inventory-based puzzles. Kaptain Brawe’s faithful wooden companion Rowboat will graciously serve as the storage area for your inventory items. With the promise of a solid challenge, the developer informs us to be prepared to grab a pen and paper to work out some of the game’s puzzles.
A demo version of the game is scheduled to be released during April 2006. The first episode is expected to be available several weeks after the demo is launched. The first chapter of Kaptain Brawe’s adventure will be made available free of charge. However, players will have to purchase future episodes.
With the release of the demo, the Kaptain Brawe series looks very promising. The game has a solid, original premise and traditional game play mechanics that should easily appeal to many adventure gamers. Especially considering that a single developer is behind the entire project, Kaptain Brawe could end up being quite a remarkable achievement. Based on the information currently available, the first episode definitely seems to be worth putting on the radar.
Editorial note: This preview was based on an old build of Kaptain Brawe that was released in April 2006. A demo for the game was also hosted on the Adventure Lantern Web site between April 2006 and September 2010.
Kaptain Brawe's publisher has informed us that the final version of the game contains several improvements and significantly deviates from the four-year-old demo.
As such, at the publisher's request, we removed the demo from the Adventure Lantern server.