You'd be forgiven for not being especially inspired by the title of Brutus and Futée, as two unknown character's names doesn't really strike that much confidence in consumers. The title also doesn't give anything away in regards to the gameplay itself, so is this strangely named game worth your time?

The two titular characters in this game are cartoon figures whose cartoonist has mysteriously disappeared. A disgruntled fan is unhappy with this fact and takes it upon himself to encourage you to make their lives as amusing to an unknown audience as possible. Your job is to tap on certain items, move objects around, and fill in blank areas with appropriate pieces of scenery in order for the events of these two to be as hilarious as possible, but without subjecting them to an untimely death.

It's difficult to place this game in a category as the gameplay is fairly unusual in modern times, but the closest thing would probably be a point-and-click puzzle-adventure. Every level is split up into different 'scenes' and you have to work out the correct placement of objects and tap the correct areas in order for the events to play out as they should. You also get a bonus for every incorrect combination, which are referred to as 'Outtakes'. These slip-ups usually result in one or both of the characters reaching a grim end, which is handled in a blood and gore-free manner, likely to make the game more child friendly. That being said the image of a small pig being impaled is still arguably a bit too violent for some younger children, so bear that in mind before purchasing.

The characters themselves are nicely portrayed, with Futée acting as the brains and Brutus acting as the brawn. There's nothing revolutionary about their personalities, but they're well-presented enough that they're still enjoyable. The supporting characters are slightly less interesting, but it doesn't impede the experience. The gameplay is solid and fun, but isn't that well refined; often the solutions to puzzles are unclear and obtuse, but they can be discovered with enough perseverance. Replaying the same scenes until you work out the solution can sometimes be a bit repetitive, but each scene is different enough that you never feel that you're repeating the same challenges.

It works excellently in 3D, and the designs and art style are refreshing, bold, and joyfully colourful. The animation is also very well done, and it's clear that a lot of care and attention has been taken in order to make the experience feel alive and fluid. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though, and the biggest foible about this game is without a doubt its crippling lack of longevity. There are only nine scenes spread across three levels in the entire game, and considering this price that's simply not enough to make this value for money. The plot also ends unashamedly abruptly, leaving you amazed at just how short the experience was. You'll be lucky to get two hours out of this game.

Conclusion

Brutus and Futée is an enjoyable if flawed game that ends far too quickly. If you have some spare eShop credit and fancy making a long train journey more bearable this should fare you well, but don't expect to come back to it at any point; this really is a one-time experience. Pretty visuals help it, but the length really dulls the whole game's charm. If the promise of the story being continued is fulfilled, you may want to wait for that.