Puzzle games by their very nature are designed to deceive and delight. Regardless of console or dimension, a good puzzle game has to strike a perfect balance between challenge and attainability.
From making lines to jumping through walls, lateral thinking, logic and reflexes have been put to the test for gamers everywhere, and there’s a universal appeal to puzzle games that have frustrated and intrigued generations for years. Art vs Science.
The Bridge is the byproduct of a computer science project from American two man team Ty Taylor and Mario Castaeda, and it’s the bringing together of such a striking, hand drawn art style with gravity and perspective-based conundrums that is the main hook of the game. As an ambiguous and bearded figure, you navigate a series of hand drawn lithographic dioramas that challenge perception, progressive thinking and defy the laws of physics.
Recreating an iconic moment in scientific history, players are introduced to a few of the game’s key mechanics in a cute mini tutorial. Using the right and left trigger tilts the world, while the left stick moves the character. It isn’t long before the penny (or apple) drops and you are either sliding down or labouring uphill towards the game’s central hub.
Presenting 3D shapes and architecture in a 2d space reminiscent of the work of artist MC Escher, The Bridge requires a skewed angle of perspective and an articulated thought process to solve its 48 levels, split between several chapters located throughout an isolated yet increasingly expansive farm cottage.
From a permanently fixed viewpiont, your task is to navigate your way through a series of increasingly mind bending dioramas consisting of a door, a key, and a few other obstacles. The objective of The Bridge’s puzzles is to use a combination of rotation and character movement to tilt, drop and spin yourself and other objects to reach the exit. Switches alter gravity or the colour of our protagonist, floors become ceilings, and sinister ‘menace balls’ can be both an advisory and ally. The most difficult of areas can seem intimidating – with multiple switches and hazards interwoven into intricate and layered labyrinths.
Luckily the puzzles aren’t too reliant on any sense of urgency or quick reflexes. Sure, it is possible to try and succeed by constantly using the ‘rewind’ feature (holding B at any point) to play back your movements (indebted to indie hit platformer Braid), and this will prove useful in experimentation in order to progress, but there is a real sense of satisfaction when the moves are executed in order andeverything falls (flips or rises) into place.
Upon understanding the game’s various physics-based rules, it rewards planning and observation rather than the frustration that comes with trial and error. The difficulty does spike in a few puzzles; while features such as veils mayinitially seem confusing in their function and vortexes serve as booby traps, further investigation demonstrates their integral role in solving puzzles that initially appear impossible, and after an extended play session there can be a sense not so much of a euphoric epiphany, but more of dogged triumph.
The Bridge is ultimately an enchanting and rewarding experience thanks to its beautiful handdrawn art style. While it would be slightly unfair to call the game bleak, there is a sense of melancholy and insular contemplation woven into the journey of the main character and his manipulation of literal and psychological space. The character is drawn at the start of each stage, the world flickers and everything moves as if it were an old black and white animation. Although the story is mostly a series of text boxes philosophizing the nature of existence and never really reaches its emotionalpotential, the mood andworld created are constantly enthralling.
Despite being previously available on various home and portable consoles, both in handheld and docked mode the Switch version of The Bridge’s presentation and aesthetic instantly captivates. The scratches and metallic sound effects add atmosphere, but its soundtrack is nevertheless limited and – although fittingly low key and ambient – becomes repetitive.
In an attempt to not make any particular scenario outstay its welcome, or any idea become stale, the game ironically comes across as a little lacking regarding a fleshed out narrative or steady learning curve. Each new twist or setting is introduced, utilised sparingly, then it’s onto the next.
With the lack of analogue controls, the rotation of the dioramas themselves (and moving the player for that matter) also feels slightly sluggish, especially when attempting to manipulate multiple objects at once. In addition the loading times are awkwardly noticeable; to some this might be forgivable, but nonetheless they slow the pace and interrupt the flow.
An endearing combination of influences from art and science makes The Bridge a valuable addition to the Nintendo Switch library, especially if you’ve never played it before.
Sometimes bogged down by showing off its aesthetic strengths at the sacrifice of fully exploring the puzzle ideas and mechanics, The Bridge does suffer slightly due to slow controls and a story/ character that deserves a little more nuance to back up its ambitious and academic influences. What it does do, however, is reward players’ patience, calculation and observation with moments that rival some of the best in the genre.
A genuinely interesting and challenging experience that, despite a few small flaws, will stretch mental as well as physical muscles.
Read more from the original source:
Review: The Bridge – Nintendo Life
- Chess Puzzle of the Day - Can You Solve It? - October 12th, 2018
- Free Puzzle Games - Play Games For Free - September 30th, 2018
- Play Free Puzzle Games Online - 4J.Com - September 29th, 2018
- Free Jigsaw Puzzles - Jigsaw Puzzle Games at ... - September 29th, 2018
- Empty Room Escape - Free Online Puzzle Games from AddictingGames - August 21st, 2018
- Puzzle Games | Disney LOL - August 21st, 2018
- Play Crossword | Puzzles USA Today - August 21st, 2018
- Simply Jigsaw - Free online games at Gamesgames.com - August 2nd, 2018
- Puzzle Games - Games at Royalgames.com - July 28th, 2018
- Puzzle Games - Free Download - GameTop - July 14th, 2018
- Puzzle Games - Free Online Puzzle Games - July 3rd, 2018
- Play Free Puzzles Games - Super Games - October 4th, 2017
- 'Wayout' Is the Next Colorful Minimalistic Puzzle Title From Dropout Games, and Is in Need of Beta Testers - Touch Arcade - September 7th, 2017
- Nintendo Switch Adds Six New Games Today - GameSpot - September 7th, 2017
- Settling in and exploring new avenues: Gram Games on moving from a small studio to a mid-size company - Pocket Gamer.Biz - September 7th, 2017
- 'Octopuz' Is a Memory Puzzle Game Made by a 13-Year-Old - Touch Arcade - September 6th, 2017
- The Guides Axiom Review: Bewilderingly Delightful - Gamezebo - September 6th, 2017
- Death Squared Review Drop In, Drop Out - DualShockers - September 6th, 2017
- 'Fed up with fantasies for male teenagers': fixing the depiction of women in games - The Guardian - September 6th, 2017
- Gamers Offered a Treasure Trove of Classic, Puzzle, and Strategy Free Games: MyRealGames Announces Latest ... - Canada NewsWire (press release) - September 6th, 2017
- Join The Knight Watch, a frenetic puzzle game for iPhone... and Apple Watch ! - Develop - September 6th, 2017
- CAPCOM announces Puzzle Fighter, a new puzzle game with ... - Android Community - September 6th, 2017
- Last Day of June Is Beautiful, Touching And Emotionally Draining - Kotaku - September 5th, 2017
- Knack 2 review - Polygon - September 5th, 2017
- Go head-to-head in Capcom's new free 'Puzzle Fighter' mobile game - Digital Trends - September 5th, 2017
- Steam's rules about adult content continue to baffle - PC Gamer - September 5th, 2017
- 'Tiny Bubbles' Is a Puzzle Game That's Way More in Depth Than We Were Expecting at PAX - Touch Arcade - September 3rd, 2017
- Pax West 2017 The Gardens Between - DVS Gaming (registration) (blog) - September 2nd, 2017
- Capcom is finally releasing a new Puzzle Fighter game, and it's coming to Android later this year - Android Police - September 1st, 2017
- Can you solve it? Riddles inspired by card tricks - The Guardian - September 1st, 2017
- Challenge to end stalemate over $1 million maths puzzle - The Courier - September 1st, 2017
- 'Simple' chess puzzle holds key to $1m prize - Phys.Org - September 1st, 2017
- The Puzzles of Marcel Duchamp - Foyles - September 1st, 2017
- Did you solve it? Riddles inspired by card tricks - The Guardian - September 1st, 2017
- Capcom's 'Puzzle Fighter' Brings the Classic Game to Mobile - Touch Arcade - September 1st, 2017
- David Darling's Kwalee launches addictive puzzle game TENS! - Develop - September 1st, 2017
- Hard Rock teams up with game studio to make mobile puzzle-match game - VentureBeat - August 31st, 2017
- Sanrio's Hello Kitty & Friends has become a puzzle game? - Develop - August 30th, 2017
- Gram Games' puzzle masters unleash Merge Town | GamesBeat ... - VentureBeat - August 30th, 2017
- Absurd Puzzle Adventure Game Maize Coming to PS4 and Xbox One in September - DualShockers - August 30th, 2017
- Cyan partners with Legendary Pictures to add backstory to Obduction - VentureBeat - August 29th, 2017
- This New Version of Solitaire Is Being Released on Floppy Disks - Motherboard - August 29th, 2017
- Google Play Indie Games Festival unveils 20 finalists - VentureBeat - August 29th, 2017
- What Makes a Great Tutorial? - IGN - August 28th, 2017
- Gamescom 2017: Hands on with Transference, a decidedly unsettling VR puzzle game - Critical Hit - August 28th, 2017
- Acclaimed VR Puzzle Game 'FORM' Now Available for Oculus Rift - Road to VR - August 26th, 2017
- The Witness and Obduction Creators Come Together to Talk Game Design - PlayStation LifeStyle - August 26th, 2017
- Panda Pop passes 100 million users as Jam City readies for an IPO - TechCrunch - August 25th, 2017
- Get to know: Rocketship Park, Ontario-based makers of the addictive new puzzle game Block Droppin' - Financial Post - August 25th, 2017
- Nintendo Switch Eshop Adds Three New Games Today - GameSpot - August 25th, 2017
- Hands-On: Xing The Land Beyond Is An Atmospheric VR Puzzle Game About The Afterlife - UploadVR - August 23rd, 2017
- Can YOU name these classic computer games? Use the photo clues to name all 22 favourites - The Sun - August 22nd, 2017
- ChromaGun Review Color Me Happy - DualShockers - August 22nd, 2017
- 5 new restaurants and retailers coming to The Greene - Dayton Daily News - August 21st, 2017
- Video Game News Recap - GeekDad (blog) - August 21st, 2017
- Tiny Bubbles Coming Soon - DVS Gaming (registration) (blog) - August 21st, 2017
- Game Day: Pigeon Wings - MacStories - August 19th, 2017
- Video game review: If you're ready for a puzzle, then 'The Room 3' delivers - The Register-Guard - August 18th, 2017
- Maze Walk VR Review - Gearbrain (blog) - August 18th, 2017
- Evergrow for iPhone proves matching-based puzzle games are actually super exciting - Macworld - August 18th, 2017
- This stick-figure Western is one of the funniest games in ages - A.V. Club - August 18th, 2017
- Uncharted: The Lost Legacy review for good and bad, it's not Nathan Drake - VentureBeat - August 17th, 2017
- Tri-town libraries announce upcoming programs - Wicked Local Marion - August 17th, 2017
- 'Cityglitch' Review - Defeat Glitches and Save Cities in This Challenging Puzzler - Touch Arcade - August 17th, 2017
- Game review: 'Black the Fall,' escape the iron fist - Reading Eagle - August 17th, 2017
- The 'Dungeon Raid' Eulogy - The Best 32-Bit Games That Will Die With iOS 11 - Touch Arcade - August 16th, 2017
- 'Follow.trail' Review - Find Your Trail to Victory and Fun - Touch Arcade - August 15th, 2017
- Ironcast Review Nintendo Switch Meets Steampunk - DualShockers - August 15th, 2017
- The Initiate (PC) REVIEW Honey, Where's Home? - Cultured Vultures - August 13th, 2017
- Watch and win as we livestream Marvel Puzzle Quest: Dark Reign tonight on Mixer [Ended] - Windows Central - August 13th, 2017
- 'noded' Review - An Attractive Minimalist Puzzler That's Sometimes Tough to Figure Out - Touch Arcade - August 11th, 2017
- Master the space-time continuum in Causality, a unique puzzle game for iPhone - Macworld - August 11th, 2017
- Xbox Indie Creators Program goes live today with first wave of games - Digital Trends - August 11th, 2017
- Puzzle | Hidden objects games - August 11th, 2017
- First Xbox Live Creators Program Games are Now Available - Thurrott.com (blog) - August 11th, 2017
- RPG Puzzle Co-Op Title SwapQuest Console and PC Release Date Revealed with New Gameplay Trailer - DualShockers - August 11th, 2017
- Grab some cracking Android titles in this month's Humble Mobile Bundle: Puzzles Critical Hits - Pocket Gamer - August 11th, 2017
- Spiral Splatter, a brain-bending arcade puzzle game Released on Steam! - Develop - August 10th, 2017
- Video Games May Affect The Brain Differently, Depending On What You Play - NPR - August 10th, 2017
- Road Draw is an interesting spin on driving puzzles (Review) - AndroidGuys - August 10th, 2017