This game suffers from the box art saying “with Avatars”. Yes there is avatar support here, but it’s entirely optional. Those who hate avatar games have nothing to fear, but may nonetheless be sacred away. They shouldn’t, “Brand” is a great looking, great sounding 2D hack-and-slash adventure game with lots of customisation of your weapons and the ability to replay levels to explore areas you missed before, or to boost your character (ala Metroid).
I’m not exactly sure how a game that looks this good slipped so solidly under my radar (it came out about a year and a half ago), but I’m glad to have found it at last. Oh, and as for that avatar support, if you don’t want to play as the provided (and nicely rendered character) you can alternatively play as your avatar. Making that an option is a nice touch. 240 Microsoft Points gets you one of the better looking games in the XBLIG catalogue.
Here’s what the developer (Nine Dots Studio) has to say about the game:
“In this challenging 2D action platformer, the goal is to increase a sword’s power by completing quests for the Smith, the Chemist and the Mage. There are many powers to explore, and some of them combine together to create new hidden abilities. You can only increase your weapon a set amount of times before putting it to the test, so choose your upgrades wisely!”