THE BRIDGE : IN BETWEEN REALITY AND THE ABSTRACT
Often, major studios avoid the risk of adding new things to their titles by sticking to proven formulas that can guarantee a successful release. If we take into account the fact that these major studios are managing gigantic budgets and investments, this can be understandable.
Unfortunately, this can stop great ideas from reaching the light. On the other hand we have an ever-growing indie scene eager to try new things and that truly has a lot to offer, giving us some great rare jewels like Minecraft, Braid and Limbo, just to name few. The Bridge, can easily join this list.
Get ready to see reality in a brand new way to solve each of the 24 puzzles The Bridge has to offer, you will feel mentally rewarded no doubt.
BEFORE CROSSING THE BRIDGE
The Bridge is a puzzle game with very unique elements that I´ll be discussing on this article, I´ll do my best to give you the best picture from it so you can get a hold on the feeling that this game has for you.
The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild published the game and Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda developed the title by using Unity as their engine of choice, proving great results in both the game and its playability.
So far The Bridge has been successfully released for PC via Steam and for the Xbox market. That being said, let The Bridge surprise you and enjoy a great and addictive puzzle game that will make you see reality as you have never before.
This title relies on originality and you can see this as soon as you start the game, there is no introduction or tedious tutorials that will hold you back from playing the game. As soon as you start the game you will meet the main character that is deeply sleeping in the middle of the scene.
The first thing that grabs your attention are graphics and art style, The Bridge is featured only black and white and the art looks like it is designed by hand in pencil, it is truly artistic. The style remains the same through the whole game so you have a good amount of time to enjoy every scenario and level within the game.
As I said before, there is no menu or any other element stopping you from starting your game right away. Once you arrive at the first scene, you find the main character taking a nap under a tree, two arrows will be displayed on your screen asking you to press left and right on your keyboard.
By pressing these keys you move the scene making you think of a balance, this makes elements inside the level move and interact with the character. In this first case you need to press left and right continuously until an apple falls from the tree and awakes our character, this is how your story begins.
After achieving this first task a second instruction is displayed, this time you are asked to press A and D on your keyboard in order to make your character walk from left to right and vice versa.
Here is when you start getting a clear idea on what ́s going on, it is a simple mechanic but being able to move both the background and the character can give you an infinite amount of combinations, it is like having a toolkit at your hands.
In order to go over this first puzzle you need to guide our main character to a door that can be opened by pressing W, this will take you to the next level.
In just a couple of minutes we have learned how to play The Bridge and it is time to get ready for real challenges.
The Bridge features 24 levels, each one with its own challenges and variations that allows the game to stay fresh. The first couple of levels aren´t hard at all and they are there just so you can get a better idea of the mechanics of the game.
As you start conquering more and more levels you will be facing harder challenges and moving both scene and the character wisely is your best tool. Slowly new elements will be added to the game, like balls, keys, etc.
From time to time you need to make a certain element to hit another in order to create a reaction or to move certain things in a way that will help you solving the present puzzle.
There is one element you need to know about and it will be your best tool. In The Bridge there isn ́t a “Game Over” as we are used to, every time you are in danger or you feel that you should change your past decision or movement, all you need to do is to press and hold your Space Bar and this will make time lapse backwards and you will be able to try new moves.
This feature is my favourite no doubt and sometimes, even if I get the level right, I go back just to see different options to solve it, with this time lapse option you can feel safe and just let your imagination fly.
As I already said, The Bridge features 24 levels, all in its own artistic style and with progressive difficulty, I can tell you that you can beat the game within 2-4 hours, this can feel short for a game but, don ́t worry! There is more than just a few levels to beat.
After you finish the 24 mandatory levels you are ready for the next step, playing the game with inverted levels, it is like playing the game all over again by facing a mirror, here is when the game starts to get hard and all the first part you already finished will feel like a training for the real thing.
I need to tell you that this game mode is pretty hard core and will require all your focus and mental skills if you are planning on beating the game.
Several levels will feel unbeatable but remember that there is a solution for every single one, just be patient and try different ways until you can achieve your objective. Sometimes it is matter of simplicity, just try first thing that comes to your mind, you can surely surprise yourself.
Having this mirror levels will boost your game play time for at least another 4 hours and if after you are done with it and with full satisfaction of knowing that you just beat a hard game you still need more, well, today is your lucky day because there is more.
After beating both normal and mirror game modes you can come back to each level and look after some missing pieces from a paint and of course several achievements.
You can be sure that The Bridge is going to keep you busy and in constant thinking, a very rewarding game for serious players.
As we know nothing is perfect and if there is a weak element on The Bridge I ́ll pick the soundtrack. This selection can get a bit tedious and I feel that something more complex would help the game to build up more tension inside scenes.
There isn ́t variety and it can feel repetitive from time to time, so be ready to face this fact.
RECEPTION SO FAR
The Bridge is a very acclaimed title that has won several prizes around the world including Art Direction and Gameplay, something that shouldn´t surprises us as all graphic aspects are very original.
Critics can vary depending on whom you are listening to but on Steam it has
a solid 4.5 Stars after more than 1,700 reviews, this is truly remarkable. Other sites will qualify the game in the range of 80-99 so overall you can get an idea on what ́s going on here.
A very clever way to describe the game is found among these reviews and I want to share it with you:
“The Bridge is a 2D logic Puzzle game that forces you to revaluate your preconceptions of physics and perspective. It is Isaac Newton meets M. C. Escher. Manipulate gravity to redefine the ceiling as the floor while venturing through impossible architectures”.
Isn’t it poetic?
THE BRIDGE AND UNITY
The game was fully developed on Unity and it is the perfect example of what
can be achieved by using the engine, especially on the physics side. It is a great testimonial of a game based on this element that can be hard to master.
Rumours spread about a sequel and can be sure that if it happens it will be developed with brand new Unity 5, let ́s hope this will happen and we can enjoy a little bit more from this interesting and intellectually rewarding unity game: The Bridge.
If you are a fan of puzzle games or just feel like trying a physics based game, I highly recommend The Bridge, this game will make you think and will feed your brain, I personally enjoyed every single level and must say that some of them are really hard to solve, adding an extra entertaining element to the title.
You can get it for $14.99 on Steam or within the Xbox store and by buying it you will be getting a great title and supporting indie developers at the same time, this is the best way to say thanks to this hard working guys and to push them to work on a sequel, something that I personally want to see happen.