The Sexy Brutale review

A perfectly horrid, wonderfully thought-out mixture of Majora’s Mask-style time rewinding and Metroidvania exploration.

By Edwin Evans-ThirlwellPublished 14/04/2017Version tested PC

The Sexy Brutale has done a terrible, wonderful thing to me: it has turned the tempo of my thoughts into a symphony of carnage. Much as the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov conditioned dogs to dribble at the ring of a bell, so Cavalier’s blend of Groundhog Day and Edgar Allan Poe has taught me to associate certain, innocuous noises with a variety of grisly deaths, drilling the connections into me as I wind and rewind its eternally recurring, seemingly inescapable Saturday.

If I hear a flurry of circus music, it means that somebody is about to be messily impaled. If I hear the beep of a door code followed by the clank of a grate, it means that somebody else is about to be eaten alive. These fateful cues and interruptions are now unsettlingly integral to how I navigate the game’s mansion, allowing me to deduce the location and status of each unfortunate resident from ear alone. Its medley of violence has become part of my mental soundtrack, helping me pace out my exploration of its world.

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