Published on February 23rd, 2013 | by Chris Ramirez, Editor
The Bridge Review
Developer: Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda
Genre: Strategy, Indie, Casual
Platform: PC via Steam [Reviewed]
Release Date: Feb. 22, 2013
Review Notes: A copy of the game was received for review purposes.
When it comes to independent games, only a few titles truly shine for both critics and gamers alike. However, indie games are starting to get more recognition, in part thanks to Greenlight on Steam. One of these games in particular is Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda’s, The Bridge.
The Bridge has received high acclaim from some of the most popular trade shows including PAX 2010 and IndieCade, where it was nominated for Best Art.
The Bridge is a black-and-white puzzler styled after the artwork of M.C. Escher. Players take control of a young man, exploring his house filled with different puzzle challenges. There are four locations within the home with each location housing six puzzle rooms. The puzzles are simple, in which you go from the starting location at Point A, to the exit door at Point B . Some doors are locked, requiring you to obtain a key before exiting.
To aid in the adventure, you have the ability to rotate the puzzles. This plays an important role to getting to the exit door. Rotation is necessary to shift the puzzle itself, affecting the gravitational pull — a trick that draws inspiration from Sir Isaac Newton. M.C. Escher’s influence, on the other hand, comes in the form of providing layers to the puzzles. The game itself is on a 2D plane, however you need to navigate to get to another path that is in the background or foreground.
As the game progresses, different elements are introduced to the puzzles to aid or impede you from getting to the door. Elements include menacing looking balls that will kill you if touched, vortexes, sliding walls and doors, push buttons and a vial that allows you to rotate the puzzle to manipulate gravity without affecting the man. The game promotes a trial-and-error system by allowing you to rewind the gameplay if you die or screw up the puzzle.
The style, design and gameplay of The Bridge are innovative, however the puzzles are not. From the 24 puzzles, the first 22 puzzles are extremely easy and require little thought to complete. But then the final two puzzles are difficult and frustrating.
The easy difficulty puts a big dent in game length. It will take approximately three hours to complete all the puzzles, leaving about an hour on the last two puzzles alone.
The developers also included a Mirror Mode of the puzzles that becomes available after you beat the game once. Mirror Mode not only just inverts the puzzles, it also includes more obstacles. Where a puzzle might not have any obstacles will now have some or include five times more obstacles, Mirror Mode greatly increases the difficulty and challenge of the game.
Final Truth :
Even though it features great art design and imaginative gameplay, The Bridge does not live up to its potential, offering easy puzzles and short game length. This is a great game for causal gamers who are looking for an excellent game to get introduced to the genre, but the difficulty of the final puzzles may be off-putting. The inclusion of Mirror Mode provides a greater challenge to the puzzles, however, you still need to complete the initial game before the mode is unlocked. Completing Mirror Mode will provide a greater sense of accomplishment, but the game still leaves you feeling like something is missing.
The Bridge would have been a great game if it was offered for mobile devices. For a PC game, there is not enough content for the hardcore puzzle gamer.
+ Style and art design
-Short game length