The Sexy Brutale earned a cult following from fans who played it in 2017 for its unique structure and style. Combining aspects of Groundhog Day, Clue, and even Columbo, it’s going to be hard to find another game like it. And while this game has a great concept, I just wish the gameplay was as imaginative as the story.
The Sexy Brutale tells the story of the casino/resort of the same name. You wake up one day to find that you are stuck in a time loop. Over the course of 12 hours, all the guests are going to be murdered by the staff. Your mission is not to figure out how they die, but find a way to indirectly prevent their deaths.
The game is broken down into various chapters of you focusing on one or two guests. Due to the magic that’s going on, if you are in the same room as a guest or staff member, time freezes and you will begin to take damage.
The people all behave the exact same way during the loop, and the map will update their positions as you learn about it.
Completing the chapter will require you to do some detective work. At a certain point in the day, there will be an opportunity to make a change that will save their lives. At the end of each chapter, you’ll gain a new power that will allow further access to the Brutale and used in later puzzle solutions.
The Sexy Brutale certainly has style going for it; with a great aesthetic and soundtrack. The Groundhog Day hook to solving a murder mystery is something that we don’t see all that often as a plot.
With that said, the problem is that the gameplay can’t keep up with this amazing concept.
The Sexy Brutale certainly delivers on an interesting premise with its presentation, but not its gameplay. This is a great example of a game that gives the player an all powerful ability, but limits it down to create a fixed experience. And using the term “fixed” is apt here, as each chapter is 100% linear in its solution.
Due to the fact that you cannot directly affect the world around you, there are only a small number of things for you to do each day. There is side content that involves collecting cards and lore on the world, but they don’t add to the mechanics of the game.
Once you find the missing piece of information on the murder, the game becomes very formulaic. I would love to see this concept fleshed out with a more open-ended structure.
There were also technical issues as well. People have reported problems with getting the game to work with a keyboard and mouse. For me, I had cases where the game would not load a room’s graphics.
The Sexy Brutale is a game that I was expecting a lot more from its premise and design. If you’re looking for a short, but interesting adventure, definitely check it out. I hope the game did well enough to warrant more time traveling mysteries in the future.