Braid

I don’t typically talk about video games here, but I thought I’d share my recent experience with Braid. This is the most beautiful, thought-provoking piece of work I’ve ever encountered in the gaming medium. There’s amazing art, ingenious puzzles, and unusual time-manipulation mechanics, plus a roundabout exploration of various themes such as love, obsession, and the consequences of our actions. This is the kind of game that has the sophistication and appeal that even non-gamers would appreciate. I recommend it to anyone.

Really, you should watch the trailer to see what this game has to offer. Then go buy it on Greenhouse or Steam. It just might be my favorite game of all time, and it’s only $15.

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One Comment

  1. Brian Sullivan
    Posted April 24, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I got this the day it came out for the PC. I’d heard such great things about it when it came out on XBox Live Arcade, I was thrilled when I heard that I’d actually get to play it. And I have to say, it did not disappoint at all. I completely agree with your assessment, and my only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. I would certainly rather it have been this length and kept each puzzle unique and challenging if the alternative was adding “filler” just to make it longer.

    Did you have to get help for any of the levels? I was fairly proud of myself that I only had to go to GameFaqs two or three times to get help. Most of the time it ended up that I was simply misunderstanding the mechanics of the game itself, and once I knew entirely Tim’s capabilities and the properties of the world around him, the solution became apparent.

    I have to say, though, I totally missed the Manhattan Project angle on the “story” (such as it is) of the game until I read a plot synopsis. The only thing that could have possibly clued me in, I think, was the quote from Kenneth Bainbridge, “Now we are all sons of bitches,” during the epilogue. Even though I was a bit slow on the uptake, I don’t think it detracted from the impact of being given that different lens through which to see the story.

    The other thing I really loved was the last playable level, when you remember that everything in that world is going backwards by default, and you see what the princess is really doing when time goes back to normal once you reach the end of the level.

    This was one of those gaming experiences that I think you have once in a lifetime, that nothing else has even approached before, and that truly shows what can be accomplished through this medium.

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