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Indie Corner: The Bridge

The Bridge first released in 2013 and was a rather big success on Steam and Xbox 360. Since the indie puzzle game was that successful, the creators thought it was time to release the interesting game on Xbox One and other consoles as well. Never played it before? Be sure to check it out since this might be one of the most original puzzle games we’ve played.

Change your perspective

The goal of the game is rather easy and straightforward. You need to move your character, that can’t jump, from point A to point B of the map. Point B is always a door that marks the end of the level. Sometimes you need to collect a key before you can enter the door. Nothing special, right? Well think again. The game features hand-drawn Escher-esque levels, meaning not everything is as it seems.

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You all know the famous Escher paintings where he messes with reality and creates illusions? This is what ‘The Bridge’ does as well. All levels are drawn in black and white and feature alternative routes created by illusions. In this game, you’re not only in control of the character but also of its world. By tilting the world right or left, you can change gravity and open new paths to the door. Our character can’t jump but if you change the gravity, it will not be a problem to walk on ceilings at all. This is a very interesting yet challenging mechanism for a puzzle game.

Nothing is as it seems

The game starts rather easy, allowing the players to get used to this unique mechanism. The more you advance however, the more difficult it all gets. The game gets a lot more difficult by adding deadly objects that will result in an instant death the moment you touch them. Lucky for you, a push of the B-button allows you to go back in time and redo the segment. A fun detail is that you’ll always see where you died thanks to an erased silhouette in the background.

It’s great that the game adds more difficult levels in a total of 24 playable levels. Based on your skills, it will take you between four to six hours to complete the game. The real challenge appears when you reach the point where you can change the color of your character.

Two shades of grey 

Later in the game you’ll be able to switch between shades of white and grey. Levels will feature objects of different colors. For example, you’ll need to use the grey key in order to go trough the white door. Changing the color of your protagonist is the only way to interact with objects of a certain color. This means that the game gets an extra layer of strategy and that later levels truly are challenging to solve.

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If you manage to reach the end, you can replay the game in the mirror mode. This mode offers the same 24 levels but all mirrored. A small change you might think but mirroring complex levels such as these results in entirely new ones to discover. Everything you’ve learned before won’t work in the mirrored levels.

Brilliant presentation

Since you’ll spend a lot of your time in one level, the presentation and design are very important. As said before, the entire game is hand-drawn with a lot of gorgeous details. Since the game plays in black and white, it truly looks like an interactive sketchbook. As far as the graphics go, we can’t really complain. Too bad we can’t say the same about the music.

The music is often the same and although it’s relaxing to some point, it becomes frustrating rather soon. This is one of those games that you’ll play in low volume for the sake of your concentration. The game also offers a lot of text and it’s a shame these aren’t voiced. Since the texts are mysterious and often very vague, it would have given another dimension to the game, something Ori and the Blind Forest did incredibly well. Of course we can’t expect the same level of an indie game but it would have been fun to have.

BridgeVerdict
The good: The bad:
+ Great levels – Too difficult for some
+ Creating new paths – Music could have been better
+ The feeling you get when you solve a level – Not much replay value

All in all we can say that The Bridge offers something new and innovative for the puzzle fans. Altering the world and creating paths is without a doubt the most fun aspect of the game. The feeling of satisfaction when you manage to solve a puzzle is great and the main reason why you play it. Too bad the music isn’t on the same level and that the game might be too hard for some people. If you’re looking for a beautiful and unique puzzle game, this is the one you need.

4 out of 5:

4sterren

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.