Friday, August 30, 2013

First Impressions: The Bridge (PC)

I brought The Bridge a few weeks back, which was when I saw that The Bridge was on sale over at Steam.  It's a game that I first saw around the first of the year.  I was intrigued by the concept, the artistic style of the game and the fact that I love M.C. Escher's artwork.  So take all that and make it into a puzzle-platformer, which is what Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda did.  This isn't a game made/developed by a company, but by two people who love what they do.  I'm assuming they love what they do, because the game is a lot of fun and looks great, it's really shiny!

Brass tacks time!  The game mechanics are pretty simple.  You move left or right with the directional pad (I'm using a 360 controller) and then you can rotate the world with the right and left triggers.  That's it.  There's no jumping.  Oh, when/if you die, you can hold B to rewind to any point in the level in lieu of restarting the level from the beginning   And you press A when you want to enter a door.  There is no jumping, but at the same time, you can't die from falling too far and landing but, you can die if you fall off the side of the level.  There is no running.  At least through the second world/map, that's it.  However, if you watch the trailer, you will notice that there are times when the world rotates at an incredibly fast rate, allowing your character to hover.  Presently, I can spin the world at a pretty slow rate (R/L trigger) and "sometimes" if I hold the joystick in the same direction, the world picks up speed, but nowhere near enough speed to keep the character hovering.  Will this be an ability that I will learn later on?  Maybe, although I feel that that would make some puzzle solving almost too easy.  I of course, say that now.

Each level begins with the camera showing you your goal (the door), the key (if the door is locked) and any obstacles.  Your character, who bears some resemblance to M.C. Escher is drawn into the world:

That sounds like a lot to preface each level, but it's nice seeing the level up close before the camera pans out so you are able to view the level in it's entirety.  

True, the game does bear some resemblances to And Yet it Moves, but only in the same way that Mega Man bears some similarities to Super Mario Bros.  They are both platformers, they both have enemies and they both use the directional pad to move.  They are two different enough games so that there really should not be any discussion of The Bridge being a clone of AYiM, of which I have heard/read no mention of this.  So yes.

Nine stages (I-VI and II-III) and 71 minutes into the game, I feel like I've gotten a pretty good grasp on what I am supposed to do and how I am supposed to achieve my goal.  The creators also do a great job of keeping the puzzles varied and interesting.  In the first level you are introduced to the concept of solving puzzles simply by walking and rotating the level.  By the time you reach the last level (I-VI), you find yourself having to position yourself just right before rotating, waiting for the Menace to move, rotate back, move, rotate again, avoid the Menace.  This of course is not a walkthrough, but you get the idea.  You learn skills and new obstacles are introduced that do not seem out of place within the world.  Wait, did I not mention Menace's earlier?  Ah well, you'll just have to find out what those are on your own.  Cheesy, but whatever.

1727, I see what you did there.

In closing, The Bridge is a very fun game that looks beautiful.  The background music is very subtle, but still noticeable to um, notice how well if fits in with the game.  


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