An innovative puzzle/platformer that was in the Humble Indie Bundle 2, which could be gotten by buying Bundle 3 at the average price, featuring a protagonist who can rewind time infinitely. Braid’s concept is simple enough. Go into the worlds, collect the pieces of the puzzles, and put the puzzle together in the lobby to create a path to the top of the house. Each puzzle has a world with many rooms, and each room has a few puzzles or obstacles. Simple and easy right?
Nope. Braid is actually very challenging. Each room is different in some way and some of the puzzles are incredibly frustrating to figure out, but once it actually clicks it all comes together easily. The power of the main character is reversing time, which reverses himself, and the enemies, obstacles, and events that have happened.
However, there are certain things in Braid that are unaffected by the reversing flow of time, indicated by a green glow. The parts that glow green are often central to solving the puzzle. They can be enemies, cannons, or platforms. Manipulating the flow of time based around these elements is how the puzzles are solved.
To give an example, one puzzle features a steady stream of bullets which are slightly faster than the protagonist. You need to run down a narrow passage to grab a puzzle piece, but no matter how fast you are, the bullets will kill you. Along the route however is a cannon that is untouched by the time reversal. By reversing time, you can have the exempt cannon shoot the bullets from the other one out of the air, giving enough time to reach the puzzle piece.
Even if the puzzles have a straightforward solution, the act of reversing time and factoring in parts you will not affect in order to find out what you actually have to do can be frustrating for some when you believe you have tried everything, but in the end is rewarding. Some worlds have time work differently than others, such as having time move forward as the protagonist moves forward, and reversing as he moves backwards.
The graphics of Braid are done in a very neat style. The entire game looks like a painting, with smooth animations and effects. The music is very relaxing and easygoing which will stop you from throwing your computer across the room as you try and figure out puzzles far beyond simple trial and error.
Despite the flaws in its difficulty, the game is incredibly well-put together, and literally infinite time reversal is a real breath of fresh air from many games that only let you reverse it by a small amount of time.
– A very nice graphical style and lovely music
– Very innovative and straightforward in its approach.
– Genuinely challenging even though it’s impossible to get a game over (you can reverse time when you die). All of the difficulty is in the puzzles.
– As the game promises, the puzzles are unique.
– Some puzzles can be extremely hard to figure out.
– Difficulty spikes and drops like crazy.
– A handful of gamers may lose interest fairly quickly and give up.
Overall, Braid gets an 8/10 for its unique gameplay style, beautiful looks, and music, but the difficulty can frustrate some players, and having to restart an entire room because an exempt key was used on the wrong door can get on your nerves very quickly.