Chapter 1 - The Ones from Brukel
In the first chapter of the game, you explore the Brukel farmhouse as you try to find the objects from the list you saved on your cellphone.
The game starts with a very short tutorial that walks you through its controls.
- Use the right mouse button to open the phone interface.
- Click on list to see the list, library to see pictures you have taken and camera to open the camera.
- If you use a gamepad, the game will show you icons to help you memorize the controls. You can adjust the opacity of them in the game's settings menu.
At the start of the game, you are locked in the living room. If you open the phone, you'll find that there is only one object on the list: "stove with drawers". You can click on it if you would like a hint on what to look for.
As there is only one stove that matches that description in the room, you'll probably be able to find it pretty quickly. Make sure to get close to it and not have any other objects obscure the view when you take the picture.
Once the picture is approved, the game will continue. You'll hear Bie talk about the relevance of that stove in her life, and three of the doors in the living room are now unlocked. (The door left from the hearth is still locked and Bob is unwilling to exit the house through the door that you came in through at this time.)
Please note that the name of the stove in the list has changed from "stove with drawers" to "cuisinier" as Bob updates the phone to include the information Bie shared with him in the recorded story. There is a play and stop button for each story on the phone if you want to turn off Bie's audio.
Congratulations! You know now how to play Brukel. For the remainder of the chapter, try to find as many possible objects on the list. You'll find that there are hidden objects and story objects.
- Story objects are the objects on your phone's list and these objects will advance the game. Once you have taken a picture of the last object on the list, the game will automatically move to chapter 2.
- Hidden objects are objects that are not on your phone's list. Bob had no idea what he would find in the house, so sometimes he just finds objects that match with a story, even though he didn't expect to find them. Hidden objects do not impact your progress to chapter 2 and are entirely optional.
Don't worry if you cannot find every object in the list. The game is actually designed to require multiple playthroughs to hear every story and it will progress automatically once it becomes 1:00am. You can always look at the time on your phone to see how late it is.
As you explore the house, there are two things worth noting. The first is that you are quite tall. Brukel is a game in which you get to be 6'8" or 203cm, just as Bob is in real life and you'll notice that that comes some crouching going up or down old stairs.
Second, it gets very dark in the game. If at any time you get stuck in the darkness, there are two easy ways to solve that:
- The light switches in the house are still operational. You can simply just turn on the lights in each room and you should have enough light to see.
- Your phone has a flash light. If you open camera mode, you will see a flash mode icon at the top of the phone's screen. Click it once to activate flash photography, click it one more time to activate the flash light. A third click will reset it to the default mode again.
Knowing all this, the only thing there is left to do is take pictures until you get to chapter 2. Here is a list with some additional hints for all of the story objects:
- Stove with drawers: The white living room stove.
- Farmhouse painting: A painting on the wall of the living room where you start the game.
- Bicycle: In the living room where you start the game.
- Cook: Frying Pan in the Moos (the room with access to the cellar and top floor).
- Bathroom: The tub on the two chairs in the upstairs hallway.
- Grandfather: A picture of four men on the wall in the first upstairs bedroom to your left (from stairs).
- Lack of electricity: The oil lamp in the first upstairs bedroom on the left.
- Large family: Picture above the bed in the second upstairs bedroom on the left.
- Bertha: A picture on a cabinet in the upstairs bedroom to the right.
- Laundry: The barrel with handles in the upstairs bedroom with the broken door.
- Bacon pit: The masonry with wooden boards on it in the cellar (access through Moos).
- Toys: The dolls in the "fancy room" with the squatters junk.
- Louvain stove: The stove in the "fancy room" with the squatters junk.
- Tough childhood: The crib in the kelkroom/mezzanine
Again, please note that some of these objects' names will change in the list as Bob figures things out.
I'll leave the hidden objects and achievements for you to figure out. Just keep in mind that it is not spoiler-free. I really recommend trying to figure the achievements out on your own first, especially the "Slow Bear" one.
Chapter 2 - An Incredible Sight
Once you find all story objects or you have outstayed your welcome in the house, you will advance to chapter 2. In other words, you will end up in the area behind the only door that was still locked after you finished the tutorial.
Chapter 2 takes place in the stables of the Brukel farmhouse and you can still take pictures for a while. However, you'll soon learn that the house has a dark past. As this is a spoiler-free walkthrough I am not going into too much detail, but to survive the ordeal you need to do the following actions:
- Walk to the back of the stable.
- Interact with the milk can near the window.
- Follow the figure through the door before the stable doors are barged open.
- Follow the figure through the door before the stable doors are barged open.
Don't worry about your phone no longer working. It'll be working again once you need it.
Also, starting with chapter 2, the game becomes a little bit creeper and borrows some tropes from horror games. I personally prefer atmospheric horror games as I do not really like jump scares myself so I did not really design for them. However, everybody responds in a different way to a game and some scenes have been unintentionally startling to some of the game's players. If you really don't like to be surprised, here are the scenes to look out for in this chapter:
- Lightning crash when you walk to the back of the stable between the two brick walls.
- A German soldier will walk by the window after you interact with the milk can.
- After you look in the window for the 2nd time, the German soldier will run towards you.
- After you follow the apparition into the next room, the wooden planks will fall on you as you walk past them.
Chapter 3 - Swiebels Und Kartoffln
Chapter 3 is where you find yourself in the alternate version of the Brukel farmhouse, a darkplace between past and present, between dream and nightmare. These are the actions you need to do to move to the next chapter:
- Wait for the explosion.
- Walk to the back of the hallway through the door on the left.
- Walk around until Bie starts to talk.
- Interact with a door to reveal the crosses on the doors.
- When Bie is done talking, interact with the frying pan to summon food.
- Walk around the room breaking eye contact with the chair.
- Pick up the frying pan and carefully put it in front of the soldier.
- Walk through the door that opens up.
Again, there are some scenes that have startled players in the past:
- A German soldier will appear out of thin air at the table after you summoned the food.
- The frying pan will catch fire.
Chapter 4 - The Cellar Children
- Walk to the back of the room and wait for the bombing to stop.
- Look up at the door when it starts rumbling and wait for the animation to end.
- Wait for the bucket to appear and touch the cloth inside.
- Look at the figure to appear in the doorway and the rubble to disappear.
- Walk up the stairs.
This section doesn't really have any startling scenes except forcreepy dolls appearing behind you everywhere after the German soldier closes the door.
Chapter 5 - Stories from the Front
You made it to my favorite part of the game! I really hope you liked it so far.
You are back in the "fancy room", where you saw the TV and the old dolls at the start of the game. However, this time the room looks like you are back in the 1940s and the Verlindens are about to have dinner.
Before we get to the interactions, walk around the table a bit and then ask yourself this question:"What door did I come in through?"Spooky, right? It gets better, though: Your camera is working again, and it is time to take some more pictures and listen to some of Bie's war stories!
In this section of the game, you have to take a picture of each of the 5 story objects and you have to do it in the right order. However, there are 3 hidden objects as well. Again, I am not going to tell you their location as it is more fun to find them on your own. For the story objects, you'll notice that they are all garbled up. You know, it is almost like someone in a different dimension is trying to communicate with you.
Actually, let me rephrase that. If you look around a little, you might notice that someone is actually trying to communicate with you:If you walk around the room with your cellphone camera open and look for ghosts, you'll eventually find that the ghostly figure is standing next to each of the objects that you are looking for.
Anyways, if you are struggling with this section, here is the list you are looking for.
- ~fL0ur - Sack of flour on the floor.
- +0m4toes - The tomatoes on the table.
- .3nv3lop3 - Open the left door to reveal an envelope on the floor of Jefke's room.
- |\/|1lk - The big bowl of milk on the table. Careful - the first few rows will get wet.
- 'W|-|1$ky - The bottle of Scotch/whisky next to the bed.
Please note that whenever you take a picture of a correct object, the description on the phone does not make sense. It looks like some random words!
While that might be true at first sight, there is more going on here than what meets the eye.
- If you only look at the words that are capitalized, you will find that they actually combine for actual sentences. If you do this for all objects in this chapter, you will get a little story.
- Some of the words in the descriptions are spelled incorrectly. They are little hints that describe the hidden objects in the chapter.
Finally, this section might not have any jump scares, but that does not mean that it is not creepy. After taking a few pictures, I would definitelykeep an eye on those dolls as they are keeping an eye on you!
Chapter 6 - The English Officer
After finding all the story objects in the previous chapter, the game continues again and you will have some more vignettes to experience. These are the actions you need to do after you find yourself in the alternate version of Brukel again:
- Look at the Sacred Heart painting at the top of the stove.
- Wait for the the candles to go out.
- Touch the gun on the table.
- Go through the door that opens up the stairs until lightning strikes.
- Go back down and walk around the room until the doll's candle becomes lit.
- Look where the doll is pointing (candles underneath closet).
- Pick up the gun when it slides from underneath the closet (crouch if needed).
- Go through the door that opens.
- You are now possessed; try to fight it by moving your mouse and trying to walk away.
- After Bie stops talking, do NOT do anything. If you click the mouse or press a button, the gun will fire and you will have me - now being in the body of the English officer - shoot my own grandfather.
- Go back down.
- Turn off the radio by interacting with it.
This chapter typically doesn't startle people too much as it is mostly atmospheric horror, but some players were surprised bythe lightning flash when walking up the stairs the first time.
Chapter 7 - Our Act of Contrition
You made it to the final chapter of Brukel. Again, this is mostly a matter of doing the right interactions to get through the ordeal:
- Go straight for the stables in the distance and walk inside. To get past the barricades "maze" first go right and then go left and then go right again. If needed, you can press SHIFT to run faster.
- Get underneath the matrasses on your right and stay there until after the big explosion.
- Walk up to the fire and wait for the burning pig to come out.
- Try leaving the stable through the main doors.
- Turn around and go to the pig, there is safe spot there without fire.
- Move around the safe spot as needed until the ghostly figure appears.
- Wait in the safe spot until you have full health and run towards the figure through the fire.
- After the ceiling beam collapses, keep moving forward to the door in the back.
- Go through the door to get to the ending.
And that is Brukel. I really hope you liked the experience I put together here. It was a crazy ride on a minimal budget, but I am happy what the result.
Thanks so much for playing! I'd love to hear how things went so please let me know on social media. And if you really liked it, a good Steam review makes a world of difference for a small indie game.