HomeBullet HeavenFacebookPinballThe TheatreXBox ArcadeXBox IndiesZombie Situation



There are many things I will admit to.  I'm not a good cook, I wear plain ordinary if not bad clothing, I'm an average driver, I don't like my job.  Oh, and I'm terrible at puzzle games.  As much as I like playing them, I'm not very good at them.  Horrifically average as the poet might say.  Thankfully I'm no poet.

The Bridge is a game released on the PC and the XBLA, and the latter is the platform I am taking a good look at thanks to the guys at Midnight City, who provided us with a review code.

What they've done here is make a puzzle game with interactive MC Escher-like artwork.  I always wondered if the monks would fall off of their platforms or if something crazy would happen if you tilted his artwork in a different direction or at a different angle.  Many of his works are juxtapositions or subtle illusions which, in my eyes, were always fun to look at.

I expected a more complex control scheme going in, but it's fairly simple.  The triggers and bumpers spin the room, the left mushroom stick controls movement, and the B button rewinds the room.  The rewind button has no limits to it, it will bring you back as far as you need to go in the puzzle (you can also choose to start the whole level over.)  I also noticed where I was squashed previously there was a faded silhouette of my body.  Huh, I didn't know I was squished so many times.

The puzzles presented in The Bridge at first glance look fairly complicated, but tend not to be until you start progressing through the game.  The difficulty is sometimes controller-tossingly difficult, but they've included a soundtrack for the game that had me going "Huh, I didn't expect that to happen.  Do I have the patience to try that level again?"  The color scheme in black-and-white also added to a certain level of calm to my sessions so far.

I'll admit the first problem I had was an earlier level, I want to say it was either the 1st or 2nd room.  All I had to do was roll the Menace Ball out of the way and hop down next to the doorway.  Ridiculously simple, right?  For you, maybe.  For me, it made me question my ability to progress anywhere in the game. 

After I finally figured that level out, I started bumping off levels at a more steady pace.  First the exit for a level was simple enough to get through, but some levels need you to find a key, some levels multiple keys.  My first encounter with multiple keys had me spinning a room and watching the key go flying off into the oblivion of the background.  This actually made me laugh because I didn't expect it because I didn't study the level enough to know I couldn't just spin and things magically happen.

  Eventually the game started to add a vortex, which would grab the player or any object in motion into a seemingly inescapable end.  These levels got me used to reading the text "The last thing I remember was pain."  I didn't want to hurt the little guy, but as is with videogames, it was necessary to sacrifice him to figure out just what the hell I was supposed to do.  Sorry, man!

Along with the vortex, there also are levels where you can't do certain things as the character's original sketch color, you have to become a white stencil.  This is done by crossing behind symbols on the level and pressing the A button.  After you change to the white stencil you can grab the white key or go through a white door.  Some puzzles have you getting a white stencil key for a door in the original color scheme, so after opening the lock you have to go change color and head out of the level.

All told the game is definitely an enjoyable experience that I think many gamers will like.  Some, however, may get incredibly angry playing and go hop on Twitter or Facebook and write nasty things to people they don't know.  The XBLA version is available now for about $10, and it's a good time.  I can definitely recommend this game to anybody who is in the mood to think.



2006-2015 Four Tokens Media