With more and more Indy games showing up these past two gaming generations, it takes a lot for one to stand out. Even more so for those with abstract art direction and intriguing puzzles abound, which seem to be more common lately. With games like Limbo and Braid leading the helm, The Bridge is an interesting take on the puzzle genre, which adds an M.C. Escher art style to the mix. While The Bridge was originally released in 2013 on the Xbox 360 and Steam, it will make its way to the now current-gen consoles. At first glance, The Bridge seems like a rather simple game, but adding the M.S. Escher style adds an interesting new perspective to the genre. This forces players to skew how they view the environment, right from the first puzzle and it only gets more crazy as the game trudges on.
While the plot is extremely minimal in comparison to the gameplay, there is one to be found by those who look into every detail. Both the environment and the text that appears when you beat a chapter add to the mystery of an otherwise explanation-less world. At first, The Bridge just throws you right in with no sense of what’s going on, but the more levels you complete, the deeper the plot begins to dig into your brain. While it did throw me off at first, I found myself completing levels and puzzles to try to unravel the mystery of our unnamed protagonist and this strange world he inhabits.
The Bridge features extremely simple gameplay, using only a few buttons throughout the course of the game. However, mastering all the tools at your disposal are key to beating the puzzles. With powers such as rewinding and tilting the world, they offer better mobility to an otherwise slow-moving protagonist. With how slow the character moves, it can be kind of infuriating when you’ve rewound a couple of times, trying to find the solution. Rather than outright dying, you’re given the ability to rewind from where you died, which proves to be helpful as the game can be a bit of a trial and error for certain puzzles. While it starts off fairly simplistic, the game can and will have a rather interesting difficulty spike.
The Bridge hosts a small amount of content, with only 24 levels for the base game. Once you beat those however, you do unlock Mirror versions of those levels and that’s where the game really gets started. The regular 24 levels offer good challenges, which can be frustrating at times when the solution is not so clear. The Mirror versions however, can be downright difficult in comparison. Some puzzles will take you at most 20 minutes, while some can be done in a matter of seconds, which in turn can be a bit disappointing. While the levels are incredibly well thought out, gorgeous to look at and downright fun, it will leave most gamers wanting more, especially when the game can be beaten in a matter of 4 hours.
As stated earlier, the game was originally released in 2013 and now re-releases with no additional content. While that is a bit of a bummer for players who have already experienced The Bridge, releasing on the newer consoles allows more gamers to discover this abstract puzzle game. I would like to have seen extra puzzles to give returning players a great reason to try the game again. Even more disappointing, it shares the same achievement list as the Xbox 360 version, which can be completed rather easily. While it offers nothing new from its 2013 version, it’s still worth checking out for fans of the puzzle genre who haven’t played it before. The Bridge is an incredible addition to the puzzle genre and one that should not be missed.
The Bridge releases on Xbox One, August 14, 2015, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on August 18th and Wii U on August 20th.
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