Thanks for the review!
"The Bridge is a 2D logic puzzle game that forces the player to reevaluate their preconceptions of physics and perspective. It is Isaac Newton meets M. C. Escher. Manipulate gravity to redefine the ceiling as the floor while venturing through impossible architectures. Explore increasingly difficult worlds, each uniquely detailed and designed to leave the player with a pronounced sense of intellectual accomplishment."
By Ty Taylor & Mario Castañeda
I am a huge fan of puzzlers, so I could not wait to get my hands on this perspective-bending, slightly reality-warping, game. Right from the start the game has a different vibe to it compared to it's peers. There is no splash screen, a rarity, and the game then just fades in on our main character napping under a tree a la Mr. Newton where you are shown the main game mechanic (tilting "the world") and have to use it to get started. The whole thing is drawn in a charcoal smudge style of art that I find appealing, with certain things that you can interact with being "scribbly" and slightly animated. There is an overall lonesome, contemplative feel to the game right from the get go with it getting subtly more dark and brooding as you progress.
"The world is a much larger place when every wall is a floor."
There are 24 puzzle worlds busted up into 4 chapters of 6 levels. The first three of these are apparent as you walk into the house, being followed by quotes that flesh out a bit of the story/background of the main character. Yes, there is a bit of story here and you are rewarded it by progressing through the chapters and eventually crossing The Bridge. Naturally the story/background is a bit thin but it is far beyond other games within the genre as they tend to have nothing at all. After you are done with the 24 base levels you will unlock the Mirror levels (this is a bit of a misnomer because the new levels are not exact mirrors of the previous ones and include added elements, it's a good thing) which up the difficulty and will net you an alternate ending. There are also collectibles and achievements to be acquired which adds greatly to the replay value.
Like most games there are more gameplay elements added on as you move forward, beyond the gravity manipulation, and you soon get introduced to The Menace and The Vortex. If these weren't enough to bother you...and you will be "menaced" a bit, hyuk hyuk; there is also some gravity swapping, polarity shifting and a fun rewind action to save you time and tediousness when you die. The game also leaves a shadow, of sorts, at the spot where the character dies so that you can see your point of failure for the rest of your time within the level, or to help you not make the same mistake again...whichever.
Lovely. Now, what's wrong here?
The game is easy. Very easy. In a couple of the puzzles my girlfriend's 5 year old was able to solve them just by randomly flipping things about. Remember that bit in the blurb up top stating that you will have a "pronounced sense of intellectual accomplishment"? Yeah, I didn't feel that. This is not to say I didn't have fun, far from it, but none of the puzzles left me scratching my head like many other games have before. To be fair though, I play and have played tons of these sorts of games.
This next point is just more of an annoyance. The play testing on this game must have been very thorough and strict because they only give you one option to finish each level. Most are enclosed so that is a given, but there are a couple where you could potentially use the mechanics to gain a different method to completion only to have it purposefully blocked. Very, very annoying. Just because you only want me to do it your way doesn't mean that is the only way I see!
Given how easy the game was, and it's relative shortness because of it, I was afraid that I would not enjoy myself but those thoughts were unfounded. The beautiful style, the well designed levels and the sheer quirkiness really won me over. I am now going through searching for the Wisps and unlocking the last couple of achievements and I am still having fun. It is worth every penny if you are a lover of logic problems, M.C. Escher or just want something delightfully unique to spend your time on.
Thanks for the review!