Friday, January 30, 2009

Braid Blew My Mind

I don't really know what else to say. I downloaded Braid and I am loving every minute. This may well be my favourite platformer since the original Mario on the Wii Virtual Console! Every single puzzle requires you to think. The levels are so well thought out and clever. The game's difficultly even increases at a good pace.

The game is a 2D side scrolling platformer. The difference: a time travelling mechanic. In the early levels, this is a way of quickly fixing mistakes and bringing yourself back from the dead. However, it doesn't take very long for the game to use it to solve puzzles. The first puzzle that you really have to start using time is quite a good one at demonstrating what kind of mind bending activities are to come (although they obviously get quite a bit harder)

[Note: items that glow green are resistant to time travel]

You appear in the level. There is a green key at the top of the map. The puzzle piece (what you are trying to collect) is located behind a locked door. Above this door there is a rock that is slowly falling.

First attempt: Run and get the key, by the time you reach the door the rock has fallen in front of it

*Spoiler - if you plan to do this game without any help, this next paragraph explains this puzzle. Having said this, it is not very complicated when compared to the others, so you could be forgiven for reading on if you are deciding whether to get the game.*

What you have to do is grab the key, rewind the time to the start (causing the rock in front of the door to have lifted) Because the key is green, it rewinds with you.

Fairly simple to work out, yes. However, the puzzles become very complicated requiring you to consider a number of different things at once.

Also, to keep the levels fresh, each world introduces a different mechanic, twist or theme. The 4th world, for example, time only advances when you move forward, and goes back when you move backwards. Or in another, when you rewind time, a shadow of you does whatever you just did and you have to use him to do simultaneous things.

I have now played through all the worlds - so the game is not very long. However, I have not got a single world on perfect, not even the first one, so many more hours of fun are to be had. This game is challenging, fun and refreshing. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys puzzles. Beautiful - arguably my favourite game of 2008.

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