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The Bridge Review
publisher: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
developer: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
|ESRB rating: n/a
release date: Feb 22, 13
|» All About The Bridge on ActionTrip|
Many of us are annoyed to the point of feeling insulted by asinine achievements like 'killed the first enemy' or 'drove 10 meters without pulverizing the car'. And no wonder. They seem to suggest we're a bunch of drooling vegetables, when in fact, none of us has drooled in years (on keyboards), and we're smart enough to outwit at least 5 zombies with 1 grenade.
I know this. I just know I know this.
Done. I'm not so dumb after all.
Here's some honesty: The Bridge is one of the few games I couldn't even manage to finish. I wasn't intelligent and patient enough for it. The first time I spent more than 5 minutes on a puzzle, I started to wonder where my 'late bloomer' achievement was. I got stuck near the end and I was too proud to consult a walkthrough, so this is a review of about 95% of the game. So, I'm still lost in Escher's mind and I don't know what awaits on the outside. But whenever I struggled, it was my fault alone.
The Bridge is brilliantly designed to test one's wits without frustrating him/her in the least bit. There's a time rewind key that you can freely use (think Braid or Prince of Persia), so you almost never have to restart a level and lose progress. As I'm sure you've already noticed, the puzzles are inspired by M.C. Escher's drawings, and they can be tilted 360* (think And Yet It Moves), so your little Escher can walk on any surface that becomes the floor at any given moment. The prupose of each level is to unlock a door that leads to the next area. At first, you do this by collecting keys, but things get more and more complex as new gameplay elements are thrown into the mix. Each level is tiny and can be solved without much difficulty, but when you're stuck, you're stuck until you fully understand what needs to be done. You won't solve these puzzles by accident unless you're an abnormally lucky bastard.
The game doesn't have a story or NPCs to interact with. You're alone in your head, trying to escape impossible locations, one after the other. There are some giant, evil balls you need to avoid, but they're just staring at you with malice. Not very glamourous, I know, but there's a strange, dreamlike quality to the whole thing and every time you solve a puzzle, you can't wait to see the next one. It's genuinely exciting, at least until the first time you get hopelessly stuck. Then love turns quickly to hate and the self-entitled action gamer comes out to cause a temper tantrum. But after a break, you're back to 'really' give it a try this time. There's no in-game hint system, but pay close attention to the environment, and you'll find useful clues.
If The Bridge has any disadvantage, it would have to be its price to length ratio. Depending on how fast your mind works, you can finish it in a couple of hours, or... never (Like some people I know. – Ed. Vader). In a sense, the dumber you are, the more bang you get for your buck. Yay! Going back to the issue in the first paragraph, The Bridge has achievements too, but they're neatly tucked away in the menu and you won't care about them anyway. In this game, the satisfaction of progressing without outside help is the only thing you'll ever want. I hope you'll give it a try.
8.8 Very Good
Beautiful hand-drawn graphics, fair game mechanics, great puzzles that manage to feel new, one can finally walk around in Escher-like drawings;
A bit pricey for such a short game, somewhat lackluster audio, may cause epic rage-quits for some.
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