The Bridge Review – Turn The World Upsidedown
The Bridge, developed by Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda, is an award winning 2D logic puzzle game that started life as a university project and has since become an Indie favorite.
If M.C. Escher was a game designer, The Bridge would have been his darling project. If you’re a fan of twisted images and perspective puzzles, this is a game for you. Read on for more.
The Bridge draws on a few tried and true elements from other games in the platformer/puzzler genre such as Braid’s time-rewind mechanic but relies mostly on rotating the puzzle and moving your character around. As you progress through each chapter of the game, new mechanics are introduced. Later levels will not only have you manipulating the level to gather keys and avoid rolling boulders, but also shifting between light and shadow, changing surface planes, or taking objects out of the reach of physics.
The puzzles in each level progress in a way that teaches the player a new trick or a variant on an old one without throwing any truly frustrating curve balls. I was particularly fond of the “Home” level which granted access to further chapters of the game by incorporating each new puzzle element.
Although both death and failure are both options, players can rewind time by holding down the spacebar. This mechanic is very useful on any level with a rolling menace. The semi-transparent erased character marking a death is a nice touch.
VISUAL – The black-and-white lithograph style throughout has twisted streets and buildings knotting around themselves, giving each puzzle a unique feel. This is very much a visual game that forces a player to reevaluate perspective. Walls and ceilings can easily become floors simply by shifting the
AUDIO – Although The Bridge relies heavily on visual and puzzle elements, sound was not left lacking. Simple piano underscores the eerie nature of the game while supporting sound effects are minimal enough to stand out. Expect to hear little more than footsteps, jingling chains and the malevolent rumble of grinning boulders.
+ Clever logic puzzles
+ Cool flipbook style animation and hand drawn artwork
+ Creepy design
– Puzzles can sometimes be easily solved by running in circles
– Those soulless eyes…
– Jump damn you!
Although each puzzle was fun and many have achievements and collectibles hidden within, I rarely felt compelled to replay any of the 24 story puzzles even with the alternate puzzles and ending unlocked by completing the game. At times I felt a little frustrated by the speed of the game. A player cannot move quickly and sometimes backtracking or going down the wrong path can feel irritating.
For me, The Bridge would be a wise purchase for someone who enjoys perception puzzles and isn’t particularly interested in platforming gameplay. The great visuals and interesting puzzles would definitely appeal to casual puzzle gamers seeking a challenge.
For another opinion, read Jan’s spotlight on The Bridge over here.
The Bridge is available on Steam and GamersGate for $14.99.