Find Tim's Beloved Lost Princess in the Time-Bending Puzzle Platformer Braid!
Reviewed by: Brandon
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DFG Exclusive Review Summary
- Time manipulation provides for challenging and unique puzzles
- Anyone can play through the game
- Interesting and thought-provoking story
- Wide array of levels and puzzles to tackle
- Stellar sound and graphics complement gameplay well
- Game is somewhat short
- Story only important later on and is easily skipped
› Read Full Braid Review
Start on a Journey of Discovery
Get thrust into a mysterious grand adventure! We find our hero, Tim, walking away from a burning castle in a suit and tie only to come across a serene house with many doors beckoning him to enter a variety of worlds. Apparently Tim has to rescue a Princess because he "made a mistake" but you have little else to go on.
Explore a number of worlds and read a series of books that precede each level to learn why Tim is on this quest and how he found himself to be in this place. Complete levels and collect jigsaw pieces to reveal the many twists that can be found in this mysterious tale.
Intriguing Puzzling Experience
Braid is essentially a puzzle/platformer that has you navigating various levels and utilizing a "rewind" power. Controlling Tim is incredibly simple with the arrow keys controlling movement, the spacebar jumps, and occasionally you'll have to use the mouse for some jigsaw puzzles.
The time manipulation though is where Braid really shines. You can rewind the game at any time by pushing the "Shift" key and move back move by move until you reach the start of the level. Where things start to get complicated is that some objects and enemies are unaffected by the rewind button.
These aspects of your control are extremely important in that many of the puzzles are time-based. For instance Tim may have to use a key repeatedly, rewinding time while holding the key, then traveling through a door that was unaffected by the time shift to use the key again.
Think Outside the Box
The puzzles which you'll find within Braid are complex yet can be reasonably solved by thinking "outside of the box". Each world has a particular quirk that once you figure out makes many of the level solutions seem natural.
For instance one world has a copy of Tim created every time he rewinds, but the clone repeats the previous actions, such as hitting a switch, while you do something else. This opens up many possibilities such as chaining events to open up a gate to reach the end of a level.
There are no real tutorials and a big part of the game is self-discovery, figuring your own way around the puzzles.
Additionally, the beautiful watercolor graphics and catchy soundtrack help to flesh out the entertaining story and you'll find yourself wanting to come back to experience the epic journey again and again.
So if you like platformers with addictive gameplay, download Braid and start the quest today! This game has won numerous awards for its innovative gameplay and excellent story.
What the Experts are Saying:
- "In an age when many games feel like clones of one another or are designed to be easy to beat, Braid sticks to its guns and delivers a rewarding and memorable experience that's definitely worth checking out." - IGN, 88/100
- "A moving story, serene visuals, and brilliant puzzles make Braid an adventure that you absolutely should experience." Gamespot, 9.5/10
- "Braid is beautiful, entertaining and inspiring. It stretches both intellect and emotion, and these elements dovetail beautifully rather than chaffing against each other." - Eurogamer, 100/100
- "Excellent but intellectually limited as a puzzle-platformer, Braid is made truly divine with emotional depth and a bittersweet humanity -- a monumentally relevant game that speaks highly of its creators and their potential audience's tolerance for new ideas. To say nothing of an absolutely brilliant, emotionally devastating "ending" that proves that time isn't really that malleable after all." - 1UP, 100/100
- Review by Brandon
Braid is mind-bending puzzle thriller that will make you think like never before. Braid introduces the ability to manipulate time in various ways. You can move forwards and backwards through time to undo and redo actions as you see fit, or create a bubble that will slow time inside.
A Unique Time Bender
While the idea of messing with time is hardly new ground for video games, the way in which Braid makes use of it is quite unique. You'll have to think in entirely new ways to make use of your time abilities and solve puzzles.
Each Level With Bring New Challenges
The levels of Braid are split into six different “worlds”. Each world has several levels with a similar look and feel. These levels vary widely and contain a number of obstacles to overcome. You'll face cannons, monsters, pits full of spikes, locked doors, and a number of keys and doors that can only be reached or unlocked through clever use of your time manipulation powers.
Not only will you face those challenges, but the different worlds introduce new mechanics relating to time that further compound the difficulty. You will deal with mechanics such as objects and monsters that will be immune to your time rewinding abilities, your movement making time move forwards or backwards, and even a shadow of yourself that repeats your previous actions created by rewinding time.
Lots of Mind Twisting Puzzles
The puzzles in Braid range from the fairly easy to the incredibly challenging. You'll need to complete the puzzles to earn puzzle pieces. These pieces can then be used to form a picture for each world that is a part of the story. There are no real hints or help to guide you as you work to complete puzzles, so it is easy to get stuck trying to figure out how to solve a puzzle. Fortunately, most of the puzzle elements can be ignored or skipped. If you get stuck or frustrated, you can move on and easily finish the level with the option to return later and try again. Additionally, the ability to rewind time give you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and correct them without any serious penalty.
Easy to Learn But....
The controls in Braid are very simple and easy to use. Moving left and right are accomplished with the left and right arrow keys, while the up arrow key interacts with doors and switches. Time can be slowed with the down arrow key or rewound with the Shift key. You can jump with the Space Bar. Movement and abilities are introduced gradually as you progress through the game - often explained by a simple sign where the ability must be used. For example, when you first need to jump to advance past some rocks, a sign is present that shows the Space Bar key. When you die and need to rewind time, the Shift key appears. As a result, it's not difficult for anyone to pickup and play the game or learn the various controls and abilities.
Braid also includes a cryptic and thought-provoking story line. The story is told through books that can be read before starting each world and the puzzles you collect and solve in those worlds. The story is easy to ignore or skip over as a result. The story really doesn't become important or come together until the very end of the game. However, it can be a nice additional reward for your hard work throughout the game and is left open for you to interpret.
Not only does Braid excel when it comes to gameplay, but the visuals and music are perfectly done. The artwork looks as if it was masterfully painted onto your screen. The backgrounds add to the atmosphere and mood of the game without distracting or detracting from the action. Soothing melodies help set the tone without being overly repetitive or distracting. The music and graphics are simple and elegant. They complement the rest of the game tremendously.
Conclusion - A Winner if You are Looking for Something Unique
Whether you're looking for challenging puzzles or just fun and interesting gameplay, Braid is the game for you. The time manipulation will throw you for a loop and make you think of things in ways you never thought possible. Easily undo your mistakes or set up elaborate plans to solve puzzles.
Enjoy a mind-wracking story with twists and turns you'll never expect. Superb visuals and audio top off an excellent game that is a must play.
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