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One of the best if not the best logical game I ever played. Interesting story, pleasant unique graphics and original puzzles make the game interesting. The difficulty level is not quite high but not impossible. With a clear conscience, I can recommend this game to everyone who likes to experiment with gravity and doesn't mind thinking outside of the box for a while. Price is right and it offers a lot of fun!
The Bridge is made from M. C. Escher's nightmares. Normally that would be a bad thing, but in this case, it's very good. The Bridge is a puzzle game with a simple premise: Reach the exit door. Your only tool is control over the direction of gravity though you can only change its direction slowly. You will need to avoid deadly obstacles and obtain keys to unlock doors in order to escape. While a few of the levels require frustrating levels of repetition and precision in order to reach your goal, most of them are very enjoyable. In total there are 24 puzzles and 24 mirror versions which add some elements of difficulty in addition to being reversed. Strangely I found the mirror versions of some of the hardest levels easier than their normal counterparts. Even if you aren't into puzzle games, the Escher-like artwork is worth marveling at. One thing I found missing in the game is music. It seems like a greatly missed opportunity for a unique and strange soundtrack to match the level design. There is some music in the game but it plays rarely and is very quiet. The other major weakness I found is probably not something many players will encounter: The collectibles. Some are absurdly difficult to find, and one even requires you doing something that the game constantly tells you doesn't work for the entire game. When you do locate them all, the reward is extremely anticlimactic. It's annoying but like I said, the majority of players probably won't bother with the collectibles and those that do will most likely use guides so they don't go insane trying to find them all. As a fan of puzzle games, I greatly enjoyed The Bridge. You will too!
Over the past 5 years there may not be a more over-worked genre than "indie puzzle". There are a few stars and The Bridge is trying hard to be one of those. Unfortunately it's simply noticeable and not remarkable. The non-reality space that makes up the core of the puzzles is relatively unique and challenging but not impossible. The art style is very striking, sort of a pencil sketch in motion, but outside of that it's pretty standard fair. You rotate your view, jump and navigate hazards, move giant boulders using physics, switch between dimensions, and get the story in pieces outside of the actual gameplay. At the end of the day its definitely a cut above average but not in the upper echelon. Unless the screenshots and trailer get you really exited you can probably safely wait for a sale to pick this up, although the base price is by no means excessive.
A physics based puzzle game that has you tilting the world in order to help move yourself and objects to where they need to go. Good music and great penciled art style in an Escher style world. Puzzles are satisfying and, while some might require trial and error, are never overly difficult. Each chapter introduces new elements to the puzzle or changes things, such as areas that have different gravity, switches that need to be held down, or a vortex that can trap you or objects. The game has very slow character movement and tilting which can become annoying, more so when you get to certain puzzles that require you to walk around the area for the correct solutions. Ability to rewind is helpful to undo some mistakes but like the rotations and character movements is also slow enough where it will often be faster to just reset the puzzle if you need to go back far. A mirrored mode increased the difficulties of the puzzles once the game has been finished for those looking for a greater challenge.
The Bridge is another entry in the physics puzzle-platformer genre, and a quite ambitious entry at that! It focuses on its one main mechanic, which is simply flipping the world, and its gravity with it. However, the levels are designed from the ground up to support it with a M. C. Escher-esque perspective, leading to some twisted and creative levels. The game has 2 main sets, the second of which is a rework of the previous levels, with added elements that you learned to overcome in the first set. It seems a bit like an extended tutorial, as half of each chapter is about exposing a mechanic to the player, not being too challenging. The puzzles featured here are, in my opinion, better designed, and not difficult to actually finish once you know the solution. The second, however, has a more physics-driven design, very unlike the first. This might leave you hanging a bit in the first few levels, but it's not as hard as it seemed after you realize that you actually do have to be more meticulous with the physics. It also features a few secret Wisps (which help you interpret the story) and Achievements that can be frustrating to do if you're not using a guide, or maybe discussing clues with your friends. But none of it is mandatory, so it's a fair addition to the game. The artstyle of the game is most likely its main draw. It's certainly very unique and it manages to merge its visual level design with the gameplay mechanics seamlessly. If you're familiar with Escher's work, you'll certainly see where the inspiration came from! If you're not (like I was) this is certainly an opportunity to look into it, if you find this game's aesthetic interesting at all. It's certainly a great selling point, and it's always great when games manage to teach you something as subtly as The Bridge did. The music, on the other hand, was disappointing to me. While the game is full of twisted perspectives and characters who are near madness, the music felt a bit underwhelming as a direct result. It's not bad, by any means. It's fairly minimalistic, with a few dissonant aspects to it (which I like), but I feel like the game would benefit more from something darker and more disturbing. With that said, it still did its job, and added to the atmosphere. The game mechanics all come down to rotating the world around you. Your goal is to reach a door, that is often locked. It can be unlocked by picking up a key, or activating a switch with one (or more) boulder(s). The objects in the levels are also subjected to gravity, however, not necessarily the same as yours. And it's basically about figuring out which path will lead a certain object where it needs to go, in often mind-bending and maze-like levels. There are vortices (deactivated by a pressure plate), a curtain that negates gravity (so that you can rotate freely and change only the other objects' gravity), etc. ...I almost forgot! There's also a rewind mechanic. And, of course, it made some people say the game tried to rip Braid off. Well... no. Not at all. Braid used time as its mechanic, and something needed to finish the puzzles. In The Bridge, it merely exists as a handy tool to let you undo mistakes without replaying the levels from the start. The game has 4 chapters, each with 6 levels (and then there are an equal number of mirrored levels, which are harder and provide more plot elements -- don't consider the game finished without these!). Usually, the first 2-3 levels are about introducing a new mechanic to you, and the other 3 will use them in different ways, providing more challenging puzzles. I'll admit that a few levels (especially later ones) proved to be a bit difficult. A problem I've had with it, is that it's very hard to actually visualize the solution to the puzzles. It came down to identifying different possible paths, and trying them out until I was close enough to the solution to be able to do the rest easily. I believe this is inherent to the level design, as everything is almost made to trick your eyes, making it a real pain to predict where each path will take you. Adding the fact that you're constantly rotating, which confuses you even more (and may provoke motion sickness, so beware!). As I said, the later ones are more physics driven, and can be substantially harder if you're not used to it. All in all, I actually felt somewhat rewarded for finishing it all without the use of a guide (except for the wisps). Some levels took me longer than I expected, but never being too frustrating. And it was unique, so you should definitely give it a go, if you're into the genre. If you're not, it's probably not your best choice to start out, as there are other games which teach the player its tought-patterns better than The Bridge did (at least for me). To end it, I just want to make a comment on the story and characters. At the end of each chapter, you'll get a sentence or two to give you a better idea of what's going on. Basically, it's a story about Escher and Newton working together. Escher, an almost mad artist, constantly trying to overcome reality, and Newton, a genius physicist, both using mathematics in unconventional ways. It touches on finally finding someone as absurd as him, sharing interests, and then pursuing the impossible. It's all very open to interpretation, of course, but I really liked the way it has been done. The achievements also add a bit to this, specifically the names of the ones you get from simply finishing a chapter (Thinker, Academic, Scholar, Challenger, Heretic, Outcast, Hermit, Genius)... It's definitely not the focus of a game, but I always think it's good when developers spread various elements across the game (not just in the levels, or direct exposition, but on little things like this). If you haven't figured it out yet, I definitely recommend this game to fans of the genre. How it bridges (heh) the visual and mechanical elements of level design is awesome, and it then coats it with interesting characters and themes that should make the player interested in knowing a bit more about what it's all about. I've certainly enjoyed it more than I expected, and makes me look forward to the developers' next games!
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