Game

Mystery thriller ports to iPhone in all its wonderfully designed glory

Price: $5/£5
Version: 1.0
Size: 1.8 GB
Platform: iPhone / iPad
Developer: Headup

Truberbrook

Note: this is a memory-hungry game and may not function correctly on older devices. We didn’t encounter any performance issues testing on iPhone X and iPad Pro, but if your device is more than a couple of years old, you may find yourself asking for a refund. These compatibility problems are the reason for Truberbrook’s low App Store score and shouldn’t be seen as a criticism of the game itself. Anyway, onto our review!

Everything about Truberbrook is intriguing. From its name to its design which feels both retro and modern at the same time. But be in no doubt, this point and click adventure will take you back – both as a nostalgia trip, but also in its 1960s setting.

The game uses an intriguing prologue to hook you into the story

Focusing on Hans Tannhouser, you’ll be in control of this young American scientist who finds himself in a small German mountain town following a lottery win that he doesn’t even really recall. Soon, things get a little strange when Hans is woken in the middle of the night by a mysterious individual pilfering his quantum physics papers from his suitcase.

It’s then down to you to guide Hans, interacting with objects and people to learn more about this strange town and how different objects may help you solve this mysterious incident.

You’ll soon find yourself in the strange town of Truberbrook

It’s hard to say much more about the narrative without spoiling it, which really is a credit to the title’s unique presence. However, it’s worth noting that despite a lengthy prologue sequence, the game itself isn’t that long. Well, the story isn’t that long, anyway. It doesn’t mean you won’t spend significant time strutting around the town pulling your hair out as you try to figure out what the hell you’ve got to do next. And the game’s length seems better suited to an iPhone or iPad than its release for PC and consoles.

Back to the story. Though strange and emotionally striking, it doesn’t quite maintain its intrigue throughout – but that doesn’t necessarily take away from its other feats. By this, we largely mean the design. Though not as grand on a smaller screen, the detail, time, and effort put into this labor of love is clear. It’s beautifully designed, while also nodding back to its 80s and 90s point-and-click influences.

Get chatting to the locals to learn more about the town

In fact, we were so intrigued by this design that we did a bit of research and found that the designer used physical models and miniature scenes, incorporating real lighting before digitizing everything. It’s really quite a remarkable result, reminiscent of the likes of Lumino City.

The voice cast is also good, not overwritten, and pleasantly witty without trying too hard.

Use items you’ve found to progress throughout the town

Truberbrook is a unique title for sure, and it’s great to see ports of larger games transferring successfully. While not quite best in class for point-and-clicks on the iPhone, it’s certainly entertaining and gorgeously produced.

Truberbrook – sci-fi mystery game hits iOS
A well-transferred port of a beautifully designed game
For
  • Unique story
  • The visual design is superb
  • Twin Peaks vibes
Against
  • The puzzle design is not best in class
  • Only works on newer devices
4.0Overall Score