Seriously, Buy Braid

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Braid is a Mario clone with a time-rewinding gimmick that lets you go back as far as you like to rectify any mistakes. Actually, scratch that.

Braid is an homage to Mario that uses the reversal of time as a central game mechanic to remove the frustrations of platform gaming. Well, no.

Braid is puzzle game that starts from the basic concepts of Mario – most prominently jumping on enemies’ heads – but uses this merely as the basic medium for puzzles that require you to manipulate the flow of time.

And although in its 1st chapter this only amounts to reversing time to correct mistakes, from the 2nd chapter onwards you encounter enemies and objects that don’t go back to how they were when you rewind everything else. On the one hand, these elements are harder to deal with because they keep on going while you’re backtracking.

Braid is a platform puzzler in which you have the power to reverse time, but each of its six chapters interferes with, subverts or adds to this ability to completely reinvent the way you play.

On the other, it allows you manipulate how they synch up with the rest of the world, which actually gives you greater control over them. If there’s a rewind-immune door, for example, you can use up a key unlocking it, then rewind time to before you did so. The door will stay open, but you won’t have used up the key.

braid donkey

 

 

braid lever

The 4th chapter allows you to use your rewind ability to co-operate with another copy of yourself. Yeah, the copy is created when you stop rewinding: he runs off and does what you did the first time, while you’re free to do something different simultaneously. Exactly. So if a switch needs to be held to keep a door open, go and hold it, then rewind time and walk over to the door… …and Mr Unoriginal will run off obediently and pull the switch just like you did.

One time I had to put this guy into position to pull a switch that wouldn’t be there until he came to replay my actions. So when I was standing where the switch would be, I just hammered the Use button to make sure my copy would get it. Then when I rewound and stood on the platform it was supposed to raise, the thing just gibbered spastically up and down – that idiot was hammering his Use button, and each press was reversing the lift’s direction. Dick.

The 5th chapter lets you drop a ring that slows time intensely for things near to it, and slightly for those further away.

With it, you can re-synchronise every clockwork element of Braid’s complex levels.

It’s the most

Flexible

Your toolset gets.

There’s one puzzle where three or four of us discovered we’d all approached it in different ways.

Mine involved killing myself over and over again by repeatedly headbutting monsters in the ass to keep them locked up in a cubby hole until I was ready to kill them.

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19 Replies to “Seriously, Buy Braid”

  1. I can’t wait till this gets released for PC. At the moment all these posts and reviews popping up everywhere are just one giant cocktease!

  2. This sounds so much fun. A dwcently challenging puzzle game. Portal is good but lacking in complexity. This sounds brilliant, people who’ve played it, would a 3d version work?

  3. That Eurogamer review likened it to The Watchmen and I’d probably agree. They both take their form and use it as originally intended and as a output for philosophical thinking.

    I think perhaps the game is getting a little overhyped though. I enjoyed it and the puzzles were great and it was at times original, but it’s not for everyone.

    John Walker (I think) once said on PCGF (or it might have been the mag) that when he reviews games his reviews are basically a buyers guide. “If you like this and this. Buy it.”

    I can’t imagine many younger gamers would understand the narrative (or lack there of) though and might not enjoy that aspect of it.

    In a perfect world there’d be more games like Braid. Games for smarties.

  4. After reading this and various other ramblings on the topic of Braid I think I shall be getting it, my interest is certainly piqued.

    However, there is just one small problem; no internet at home means no Live, and that means no Arcade downloads. It will have to wait a few days, alas.

  5. @ roburky: Blimey, I completely missed that particular subtext. I still prefer my inital ambiguous take on the ending though.

    All in all it’s a damn good puzzler, only really marred by a few fiddly puzzles (which Tom already pointed out in his last post).

  6. Dan: I didn’t know that was John’s position but it’s certainly mine. For that reason I’d give Braid pretty much exactly the scores it’s been getting: the only people who shouldn’t buy it are those with absolutely no interest in puzzle games, and that’s not something you mark a puzzle game down for.

    roBurky: Some of it is definitely about that, but after reading that and thinking about it, I’m still not convinced that all of it is. Some of it just seems to outright contradict that theory, or fit so poorly that attempts to do so are meaninglessly tenuous. I think she has a broader significance, and that specific embodiment of it is one of many. I think another may actually be a girl.

    Chijts: Yes. I rather like the little guy, he’s a lot more likeable-looking than he was before David Hellman Hellmanised him. To be honest, you don’t really see his features while you’re playing, he’s pretty small. And at least he’s not a marine, adventurer or wizard.

  7. Just bought Braid off Steam. I played the demo beforehand, and you were right. It’s brilliant.

  8. If I bring up an old topic, I to have played Braid recently.

    Wonderfull, wonderfull game. The creator is a basterd though. I’ll never get those hairs back.

  9. Thanks, random excerpt tool! Chapter 3 scrollbar gimmick is broken, changed to Ajax-resizable text box (!)

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