Game Review: Broken Mind (Xbox Series X)

While the indie game market can be a bit of a drag to explore, the hidden gems you stumble upon end up making up for a lot of that. One such gem is Broken Mind, a horror adventure and puzzle game which comes from lone developer Tony De Lucia. It really doesn’t get more indie than that.

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It’s a game made with passion and it’s a game with plenty of charm, which helps make up for some of its issues. Issues like a story that has an overly familiar tone. Where the player steps into the shoes of Detective Frank Morgan, a veteran detective known for not always following the rules. Frank is on the case of a missing teenage girl, and ends up uncovering a much darker plot. All while dealing with his own mental fragility from a devastating family event that occurred in the past.

Even though it is a well told story, it’s not going to win any originality awards, but it does have some unpredictable turns that help it stand out at least.

Thankfully, De Lucia has imagination elsewhere and tells the story with some flair. Setting segments within the mind of Frank as he struggles to cope, and including a ‘live stream’ segment where the player both watches and takes part in the kidnapping event surrounding the teenage girl. Easily, Broken Mind’s best bits.

Credit must also be given to the visuals of the game, which take on a cartoony vibe, utilising vibrant colours and making great use of shading. It might be cheap, but it looks anything but, thanks to this style. Musically, Broken Mind keeps it simple and subtle, but ramps up the cheese when it comes to the voices of characters. This works though, as Broken Mind does have a cheesy 80s horror vibe.

Gameplay, however, sits somewhere in them middle. Something that is neither remarkable or unremarkable.

The game is played from the first-person perspective and follows a tried and test formula for these types of games. Move around an area, which are often quite linear, find items to unlock doors, and solve the occasional puzzle using clues dotted around. There are a few weapons to deal with the occasional enemy, but nothing to get excited about, and the occasional stealth section. Which, thankfully, are often quite short.

It all works perfectly fine, but it’s not what makes Broken Mind a compelling game. It’s the simplicity of it all, how the story plays out, and how it rewards the couple of hours investment, that makes it a game worth playing. It’s far from perfect, but the fact that it comes from one person, is mightily impressive. We’ve seen full teams churn out worse experiences, with even less originality to them.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Broken Mind (Xbox Series X)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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