The Bridge is a 2D logic puzzler from the minds of Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda. It saw release on the PC earlier this year and has now come to XBLA thanks to Majesco Entertainment and their new indie label Midnight City. We’ve been wrapping our minds around the game to bring you our review.
Players take the role of a silent protagonist who begins his adventure asleep under a tree. He’s woken up by an apple which falls and strikes him on the head. Heading back home you discover a series of doors that lead to corridors containing more doors. Behind each is a puzzle that you must solve.
From the off it’s clear that The Bridge takes inspiration from games such as Braid and The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom. Its hand-drawn pencil sketch style graphics are also reminiscent of the works of M.C. Escher.
The game employs a simple control scheme allowing you to move left and right. The neat mechanic is that you can also rotate the world using the trigger buttons. This mechanic is key to solving all the puzzles in the game and it takes some practice before you understand everything that it makes possible.
Turning the world allows you to use other surfaces to get around. So walls and ceilings all become floors for you to walk upon. The object of each level is to simply get to a door which exits the level. Initially this means just getting to the door but as the game progresses it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. The game gradually introduces more mechanics such as locked doors that require keys, giant boulder enemies known as The Menace, parallel worlds and gravitational vortexes.
The difficulty of the game can sometimes feel a bit all over the place. This is often caused by you working out a puzzle by accident or failing to see the obvious solution. One level had us stumped for ages while we tried to manoeuvre our chap to obtain a key. In the end we realised the solution was to bring the key to him instead.
When things go bad the game features a neat time rewind feature to ease the pain. This takes away the worry of making mistakes as you can always rewind mistakes to try again. It’s a great feature but one that makes the games almost too easy. However players who are struggling will certainly appreciate it.
Once you get your head around the core concepts it becomes quite easy to pass the early levels. However they do gradually become more complex and the tougher levels always give you a higher sense of achievement when you beat them.
After beating the core levels the game unlocks 24 mirror versions which are harder to beat. There are also some collectible wisps to be found hidden around the levels.
Overall we really enjoyed our time with The Bridge and would highly recommend it to puzzle fans. It’s not the longest game in the world but the puzzles are excellent and solving each is incredibly rewarding.