Braid

braid-cover
9.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10
Controls: 9/10

Original concept, great visuals

A bit short

Game Info

Game Name:  Braid

Developer(s):  Number None, Inc./Hothead Games

Publisher(s):  Microsoft Game Studio/Number None, Inc.

Platform(s):  PS3/PS4/PS5/Xbox 360/Xbox One/Xbox X/Switch/PC

Genre(s):  Strategy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): August 6, 2008 (Xbox)/April 10, 2009 (PC)/November 12, 2009 (PS3)

ESRB Rating:  E10

braid-level

I’m trapped in a painting…and meatballs are attacking me!

A princess has been taken…now Tim must find and save her.  He has time on his side as he works his way through the puzzling worlds of Braid.  Speed up time, slow down time…save the princess.  She is counting on you, and you could be her only hope.

Braid is a side-scrolling puzzle game.  The game was originally released on Xbox Live in 2008 and was later released on other systems.  It received praise for gameplay and visuals, and it made many “Best Of” lists.

I heard a lot about Braid, and the buzz surrounding it.  The game was part of the beginning of the smaller independent game wave that has continued and grown since Braid’s release.  The game isn’t long, but the clever nature of the game makes it one of the most surprising and fun games released.

What is interesting about Braid is that it just seems “off”.  It almost feels like a standard Mario-type gameplay, but once the time factor is added in, it becomes something more.  Some of the puzzles are maddening and the different time tools at your disposal makes each level of the game very different.

braid-donkey-kong

Oh no Donkey Kong! Wait, this feels oddly familiar…

Each board has kind of a sing-songy feel and knowing that you truly can’t die (but will die over & over again) both limits and can increase frustration.  The first level you’ll encounter “Time & Forgiveness” is pretty straight forward with fast-forwarding and rewinding time to reach the exit and collect all the puzzle pieces.  “Time & Mystery” introduces objects that cannot be manipulated by time which have a green glow about them.  “Time & Place” really twists the game.  As your character moves to the right, time moves forward.  To the left, time will rewind.  “Time & Decision”, Tim’s shadow follows Tim’s actions and can be used to manipulate the environment.  “Hesitance” involves a magic ball that affects the flow of time around it.  Time slows as you near the ball and speed up as you get farther away.  The final world (called “1”) has time flowing in reverse.  It sounds complicated when you hear it, but it for the most part makes sense as you play it.

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Crap…Somehow I see myself at the bottom of this hole…please don’t make me jump

Throughout the game, the goal is to find puzzle pieces that unlock the picture at the end of each level to tell you more of the story (which itself seems pretty veiled…but there is a twist ending).  The game is very arts and completely original while using standard jumping and moving controls.  The landscapes are lush and the music fits the game (which is fortunate because rewinding and replaying mean the sound effects are sped up & slowed down).

Braid is the type of game you should check out if you have the opportunity.  It is hard to explain unless you’ve played it and being that it is a download, you might pass it over.  It is a thinking game and doesn’t take forever to play through, nor is there much ability for replay, but it still is a completely entertaining journey.  It is just a weird and unique gaming experience and it features an ending you’ll never forget…so check it out!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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