Monday, March 15, 2010

Braid...finished?

With all the rave reviews going into a gorgeous and well-thought-of indie game like Braid, you'd think it would be as satisfying when you finish the game. Well, not too recently, I did just that, but it is not in the category of finished games where I am left even more confused as when I started playing.

I won't enter spoiler territory, but the game created more questions than answers. So much so that it has spurred discussions in forums about the game's story. In that sense, Braid is truly a game of art; it is gorgeous to look at, and, at the same time, is perceived differently from each person that interacts with it.

All abstractions aside, the game's puzzles are the most creative that I've seen in any game for some time. I think all but one eluded my grasp at a solution, but there were certainly a number of them that had my brain struggling for an answer. But each puzzle I solved only fueled my persistence to figure out the next unsolvable puzzle. The calming and somewhat therapeutic atmosphere of the game was almost zen-like, making me rationalize a path to the solution instead of throwing my controller down in frustration and storming away.

I think Braid would be a game a doctor would prescribe to a gaming patient who's given up games for their increasing difficulty and convoluted gameplay mechanics. On a higher plain, it's a game that allows you to appreciate other games.
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