Big budget games are often compared to box office films, which leads Braid to be compared to an exquisite piece of art. Quite simply Braid is original, innovative and a miniature masterpiece. Braid begins oddly enough at World 2, a stage of an avatar named Tim’s life. Tim is in search of a princess, and without little explanation all that is known is that Tim has made some sort of mistake, which he hopes to right.
Braid is a platform game of a style which no doubt reminds of Super Mario Bros; however the game does not simply emulate the adventures of going from A to B in a straight line, but instead bends the line by changing time. Tim posses the power to rewind and fast forward time, which sounds rather complex and confusing but proves to work fantastically. As you progress through the different worlds you will be given a new key gameplay mechanic which you will use to obtain jigsaw pieces and generally solve puzzles. Such a simple game design with a complex gameplay mechanic come together to form some of the most unique and complex puzzles imaginable.
Unfortunately, the downfall to the complex puzzle design is that there are simply too few worlds and puzzles present throughout the game. The additional mode that is unlocked after completion is evidence enough of this, providing a speed run option with an achievement of beating the 45 minute challenge set. Due to the nature of the game replay value is sparse, with no reason to return other than smashing the speed run challenge (which is rather difficult to say the least). This, along with the price tag of 1200 MS points, does not help when appealing to the gamers of Xbox LIVE. Putting the price and the length to one side, Braid is an experience that every gamer, especially those who can stomach complex puzzle solving, should not pass up. Braid is best compared to Portal; a title which as many will know is extremely short but thoroughly worthwhile.
Fittingly, Braid is as unique as the above mentioned game in style, with surreal water colour backgrounds set in a whimsical world of simplistic objects. The audio throughout the game is equally beautiful and fitting for the game, with a strong emphasis on harps and theatrical themes. The best part of it all is upon hitting the rewind button and enjoying the merge of colours whilst the audio tracks rewind at the speed of your choosing. The clever design and functionality behind this is understood by all who have, and will soon finish Tim’s journey.
In conclusion, Braid is a stunning title which provides an experience which flows fluently from start to end. The simple concept, the complex puzzles, the beautiful presentation or the magical story; play Braid today, go on, you deserve it.
- One of the best titles on XBLA
- Extremely clever puzzle design
- Short considering the price tag attached
- It ends far too soon
- You learn the truth