[PS3 Escher Review] The Bridge
The Bridge is a black and white hand drawn 2D brainteaser that reminded me of Braid. The Bridge also has strong influences of Issac Newton, who came up with the Law of Universal Gravitation, hence the sitting under the apple tree cutscene.
Now I know Braid and The Bridge are two completely different concepts since Braid was about manipulating time while The Bridge is about manipulating space and gravity, but they still feel somehow connected here and there.
The Bridge is about manipulating space by rotating the game world either clockwise or counter clockwise to get the protagonist to the exit and onto the next puzzle room. He can either walk left or right, but he cannot interact with anything except doors and keys, so that is where the twisting and turning off the game world mechanic comes into play.
Each room presents a puzzle, and the more puzzles you solve the harder they get. Each room has some obstacles or hazards to overcome, and sometimes a key to get, and some rooms require more than one key needed to open the exit.
If you mess up, that is no problem thanks to an awesome feature to rewind time by simply pressing the circle button, and you can go back as far as you want. This means there are no game overs to worry about, so take your time and see what works and what doesn’t for each scenario.
Each puzzle room fits snugly on the screen, so there is no need to scroll the screen to find the solutions, and you can take a good look at the environment and figure out how to reach the exit at a glimpse. The difficulty spike is very gentle and only ramps up with each chapter rather than with each room. The puzzle difficulty of an entire chapter is roughly the same.
The Bridge can be a bit frustrating in places, but in a really satisfying way because when you look at a puzzle room and think “that is impossible” and you actually beat it you end up feeling great, and this motivates you to keep going.
The Bridge is a short game. I managed to complete all main puzzles in a few hours, and most puzzles can be completed in anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. But after completing the main campaign you will unlock the Mirrored puzzle rooms, and these rooms expand on what you have already learned from the main campaign and increase the difficulty considerably. While the mirrored puzzles are much harder, the rewind feature is retained and, believe me, you are going to use it a LOT!
The clever level design is inspired by M.C Escher. A quote by him fits The Bridge perfectly: “Those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.” When you play the mirrored rooms, you will understand the meaning of that well known quote because it is so true, and it is the main theme of The Bridge.
There are seven collectible wisps scattered around the game world, but I haven’t managed to collect a single wisp because I haven’t been able to find them. I definitely plan to go back and find them soon to complete the objectives in the game. The Bridge has 20 trophies to earn: 19 Bronze and 1 Silver!
The Bridge is an amazing brain workout, and I enjoyed every second of it. I love everything about it from the pencil hand drawn look to the clever level design. The only complaint is I was left begging for more! Who knows, maybe we will see The Bridge 2 some day?
pros=”Fantastic workout for your brain
Beautiful hand drawn graphics
Clever puzzles” cons=”Price is higher than usual… but worth it” score=90]