The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
game fans have been waiting for years to play Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda's
stylish mind-bending puzzle game, The Bridge. While The Bridge features
arresting visuals and a few clever gameplay mechanics, some convoluted puzzles
and a sluggish pace detract from the overall experience.
level in The Bridge is a surreal, hand-drawn landscape reminiscent of the
optical illusions of M.C. Escher. The visual style is the high point of the
game, and complements your reality-breaking abilities. In order to make it to
the exit door of each level, you control both your character and the rotation
of the 2D environment, which affects gravity based on the changing orientation
of the landscape. Early puzzles such as tilting the world to slide up a steep
slope or turn a ceiling into a floor are simple but effective. A few more
mechanics, such as inverting your character in the environment or changing the
gravitational direction of individual objects, evolve the formula for better
and for worse.
the gameplay mechanics are novel, some of the puzzles are so complicated that
solving them requires tedious trial and error rather than genuine problem
solving. Rarely did I have that "Aha!" moment that great puzzle games like Fez
and Antichamber inspire. Instead, solutions often involve trudging back and
forth through winding mazes in order to see how the world will react when you
flip a switch or alter gravity in a specific way, the effects of which aren't
always immediately apparent.
I wouldn't mind having to experiment if it wasn't
so painfully slow; the environment rotates at a sluggish pace, and your character's
speed maxes out at a brisk walk. The slow speed of your character and objects combined
with their momentum makes it easy to over-rotate your environment, at which
point you watch your character soft-shoe his way down a slope or off a ledge
while you try in vain to right the ship. Luckily you can rewind time with the
press of a button at any point, but even that can be slow when you have several
minutes of a failed solution to undo. The Bridge also lacks any sort of hint
system, so if you get stuck on a puzzle, your only option is to continue
experimenting or retreat to the Internet for help.
when I started finding The Bridge's puzzles more frustrating than fun, a mid-game
event resets the world, requiring you to revisit all of the previous levels
which sport trickier puzzles the second time around. While it may sound like a
cheap gimmick to recycle environments, these mirrored levels provide the most
entertaining puzzles in the game, and introduce more variety via a few new
mechanics such as controlling two characters at the same time. After getting
frustrated with the final puzzles of the first half of the game, I was
pleasantly drawn back into The Bridge's unique and imaginative world with the
more creative challenges of the second half. Eventually these mirrored puzzles
also ramp up to a slow grind of trial and error, but finally hitting upon the
correct solution remains satisfying throughout, even when progress comes from
luck rather than strategy.
all of the puzzles don't reach the same level of excellence as The Bridge's
impressive visuals, recommending this game to indie fans is still an easy call.
Despite some difficulty spikes, patient players will be pleasantly engaged in
The Bridge's surreal, black-and-white world.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.