Braid is a modern incarnation of the classic platformer genre. It pays homage to games like Super Mario Bros. without being redundant. This incredibly rich game is fill to the brim with mind-bendingly clever puzzles, beautiful environments, and classy writing.

The game has been available for Windows and Xbox 360 for quite some time, but it was ported to Mac OS X and the Playstation 3 much more recently. If you’re interested in other platforms, check out the main website. If you’d like to know a little bit more about the minds behind this wonderful game, check out their bios.

Audiovisual

This game is beautiful. As you go through the different worlds, the mood is changed simply by gorgeous environments. If you’re under the impression that 2D gaming can’t be artful, you’re misinformed. As you go through the game, you have the feeling that you’re inside an interactive painting. I can’t think of a game off the top of my head that is prettier than Braid.

The soundtrack is right on par with the astounding scenery. The music is actually a fundamental part of the game. As you solve puzzles by altering time, the music reflects what you’re doing. If you’re going reverse at eight times your original speed, the music plays just as you’d expect. Great care was taken in the craft of this game, and it shows in the soundtrack.

Gameplay

Don’t get the impression that this game is all potatoes, and no steak. The gameplay is indescribably clever. You control time with your Shift key. That might not sound clever, but you’ll see what I mean once you experience it. Time control is pivotal in solving the game’s puzzles. Once you understand that you’re playing as time itself as much as you are the main character, you’ll truly understand Braid.

Each world within the game has different rules that time works within. In one level, there are certain objects that aren’t affected by time control. Your objective is to then work everything else around that one stubborn object. In another level, you’re tasked with controlling your character in multiple dimensions. A secondary version of you is spawned when you alter time. Insanely imaginative puzzles ensue.

I cannot give this game enough credit for the puzzles that you must solve. After spending a half hour on trying to gain a collectable puzzle piece, you might start to get frustrated. As soon as you figure out the trick to solving the problem, pleasure will wash over you, though. The level design is simply perfect.

Summary

Go buy this game. For the price of $9.95, you get to experience a unique event in gaming. There has never been a game quite like this before. If you don’t believe me, you can go try the demo out for yourself. If you like it, please buy it. Greatness deserves to be rewarded.

Photo Credit: LollyKnit