Braid

Braid
Format: Xbox 360 Live Arcade
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Release Date: 6th August 2008
Number None Inc. 

Braid is mind-bending stuff with Tim’s re-winding time power. Something Prince of Persia uses to correct mistakes, Braid uses to have you manipulate objects and creatures. Stepping into his thoughts and journey is certainly something. To find the princess.

It’s a side scrolling platformer with the main objective being to collect the pieces of puzzle scattered across the worlds. What has it stand out from other games in the same genre is the time twisting mechanic as you pull back time to right wrongs and get one step closer to another piece of the puzzle. Each world brings a different rule to the re-winding such as items which aren’t affected by the power, a shadow version of yourself which replicates your past movements and an assortment of others. Venturing into each world to see what the gimmick will be next is exciting as is the little story books which slowly reveal the workings of Tim’s mind. It can be a little pretentious and self-conscious at times, but the ending twist is a good one.

The game looks and sounds gorgeous too with beautifully hand crafted worlds and music which ranges from peaceful to creepy. It is a game full of character and life and it shows 2D games still can throw some real stunning art design out. The only problem with the art would be that a lot of it is reused and the forest levels begin to look a little familiar, but for the most part it is a lovely looking game.

The game has some clever puzzles, perhaps too clever at times which leads to many hours of lost time wondering what the heck to do next. So many times I was stumped and couldn’t work things about because the solution was so strange and new, a hint system or slow progress of each new power would have stopped me from resorting to internet guides numerous times. Maybe I’m a bit dumb with these type of intelligent mind games, but I got through the likes of Limbo and Portal no problem. The lack of help the game offers and the increasing tedium of the world and its design through me off and I while I commend the concept, uniqueness and look, it ultimately left me cold. Those with minds which can grasp how to use the mechanics with the world will have a great time and herald it a classic. For the lesser mortals such as myself, well I wish I could get my head around it all and bathe in the game’s world with the rest. I did finish and figure most of the stuff out without help though, I’m not that bad! It just took me a long time…

7/10

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