Family troubles: everyone has them. Sisters Luzia and Sombria, however, have it MUCH worse than others. My Big Sister is as much about family dysfunction and sibling rivalry as it is horror. Their mother is never around due to a hectic work schedule at the hospital, so it often falls on Sombria to watch over her little sister. Luzia is quite headstrong for a 12-year-old, though, so they frequently clash.
One dark night, things really go off the rails when they are violently abducted from their home. Luzia and Sombria must now escape their captor and find their way back home to safety. Since the game has a relatively small runtime of around 3-4 hours and is fairly light on gameplay, the primary reason for playing is to enjoy the plot so I won't go into further details regarding it. BUT! I will go on record saying that I enjoyed the story immensely. The story beats keep you engaged and the plot twists keep you guessing about what will happen next. The dialogue between sisters can vary from cute to disturbing, with some heartfelt moments in between as they come closer to understanding one other.
My Big Sister touches on some pretty dark subject matter (rape, depression, and suicide, just to name a few) hence the graphic content warning when loading it up. Despite its sometimes misleading cute pixel-style graphics and dialogue, it is a horror game. It trades in the standard jump scare/overwhelming gore for a more subtle approach; an ambient and unsettling creepiness that lurks beneath the thin façade of normalcy. Don’t get me wrong: you’re still going to see some pixilated blood. Just don’t go into this game expecting to be scared senseless because it just isn’t that kind of horror title. As far as the soundtrack goes, it does its job. There are no great stand-out tracks that made me sit up and take notice, but the whole thing overall accompanies the entirety of the game nicely.
As I mentioned earlier, My Big Sister is fairly light on the gameplay aspect. The story is told in a chapter format. You take direct control of Luzia as you walk around the area talking to people to either progress the story or gain clues as to what to do next. You will usually need to look for items to solve minor puzzles, like finding a key to a door or a bobby pin to pick a lock. It’s nothing exciting, just something to keep you engaged while you enjoy the adventure. The multiple endings do give you a bit more playtime if you want to see them all. Once you clear the game for the first time, you can load up any chapter at will, which is perfect for finding all the endings and picking up any achievements you may have missed. It is fairly easy to obtain them all, so any self-proclaimed achievement hunters take note!
That about covers everything. The game -much like this review- is short and sweet. The gameplay won’t blow you out of the water, but to me, this game is more about enjoying the narrative and ambiance anyways, so it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the game at all. So if you are looking for a game that can deliver a cute, yet simultaneously dark and morbid story, then look no further because My Big Sister has got you covered. The game: not my actual big sister. Just so we’re clear.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 8.5/10
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