Developer: Number None Inc.
Release Date: 8/6/2008
Rating: Everyone 10+
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The Good: Beautiful art direction, interesting story, out of this world time traveling mechanic, each world has different ways to solve puzzles
The Bad: Some puzzles may be a bit confusing, very short, the story isn’t exactly clear
Braid is one of those WTF games where you think you know what’s going to happen then it turns around and slaps you in the face. The story of Braid is very interesting, but it doesn’t really matter until the last level. You start the game off on world 2 then you end with world 1 and that’s the piece of the story that makes your brain go funny. This is what I love about Braid that it has a wonderful story along with beautiful pastel/watercolor backgrounds. The music is very moody and inspiring and I just love the whole package. The main attraction to Braid is the whole time mechanic. Each world uses time in a different way to solve the unique (yet not hair tearing) puzzles. Instead of dying and starting all over you can rewind time…all the way until you entered the level if you have to. This is a very hard mechanic to explain, but you have to use the enemies as jumping springs. You have to jump on them just right to get on that higher ledge. Sometimes you have to alter their paths using the time to get to where you need to. When some platforms, enemies are green they are unaffected but time.
You can rewind time to get a moving platform underneath them, but they don’t go back in time they just keep walking. Sometimes everything is moving backward in the level and you have to alter the way the enemies are moving. If you walk forwards everything moves backward. One world has you using a ring that slows down time BUT only around the bubble it creates. This lets you slow down cannon fire, slow down enemies so you can use them in the right manner etc. One world even has you using your own shadow to help you. When you walk to where you need to be but you have to throw a switch that moves a platform on the other side of the level you just rewind time back the platform and your shadow retraces your steps and hits the switch. This game is just so mind blowing that it’s extremely hard to explain. The objective is to collect all the puzzle pieces and complete the puzzle to finish the world.
The game has about seven worlds and can be beaten in about 6-8 hours depending on your IQ. If you like puzzles that truly bend your brain in ways unimaginable then go for Braid. This game is too hard to describe in words you just have to play it. For $15 it’s definitely worth it thanks to all these awesome elements put together.
I don’t think there will be anything like this out there again and with this not being done by a major developer is very surprising. I hope this game with the XBLA GotY award because there’s just so much to the time traveling aspect that it’ll just wow you.