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Game Info:

The Bridge
Developed By: Ty Taylor and Mario Castaneda
Published By: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Release Date: February 22, 2013
Available On: PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Logic/Physics Puzzle
ESRB Rating: N/A
Number of Players: 1
Retail Price: $14.99 on Steam or GamersGate

Thank you Ty Taylor for sending us this game for review!

Since its PC release in 2013, The Bridge is now available on every modern console and on the PS Vita, PS3, and Xbox 360. We were sent an Xbox One code in August 2015 and it plays and looks just as good as the PC version.  The controls are pretty simple with the A button being the action button for opening doors and the B button for rewinding from fatal mistakes.  The triggers are used to rotate the screen and the analog stick moves the protagonist. The controller will rumble to alert the player of impending death.  Everything written below about the PC version applies to the console release we tested as well.

A man wakes to an apple hitting him on the head.  He walks back to his house, only to find the world around him rotating to keep the ground level so he can get there. Strangely, his house lacks stairs, but getting to the second floor is no problem – the world and its center of gravity rotates, and he gently falls to the new floor, all the while his clothes flap in the air on his way.  He seems a little startled at first while falling, but carries on quickly afterward.  This is The Bridge.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Classically inspired art style; pleasant music; quite challenging puzzles
Weak Points: A bit short if you are good at puzzle games (or are willing to consult a walkthrough); some puzzles are very frustrating, and cannot be skipped
Moral Warnings: Existential themes

The Bridge is a 2D logic and physics puzzle game where your goal is to get your unnamed protagonist to the door, which progresses you to the next puzzle.  It is all drawn in an art style resembling M.C. Escher's classic artwork, including his many impossible object designs.  While that goal sounds simple, in reality it can be quite mind-bending.

In each level you start at a designated spot, with some combination of obstacles in your way to keep you from the goal.  Often the door is locked with one or more keys, and collecting them is required to continue.  Other times you have to avoid deadly boulders, vortexes, or simply falling forever outside of the play area. 

There are levels where gravity can flow in several directions, or where you can switch dimensions.  It can get pretty complicated, but each of these concepts are introduced gradually enough that it doesn't become too confusing to understand what each puzzle device does.  That said, later levels, with many different pieces in place, can be very difficult to get a good grasp on.  If you mess up, there is a mechanism where you can hold the space bar to reverse time to before your death.  If this sounds like another popular indie title, Braid, this is because it's the exact same mechanic used in that game.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 88%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 98%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 9/10

Each level definitely takes cues from the style of M.C. Escher's paintings.  Often, level architecture takes truly impossible shapes, with swirls that connect to other platforms in ways that don't make sense at first glance.  The layering is pretty neat though once you figure it out.  Indeed, the puzzles are excellently crafted, and the art is perfectly drawn.  The artist, Mario Castaneda, should be proud.

The music and sound is appropriately eerie.  The sound effects perform the expected task, and can sometimes aid in puzzle solving, as slipping feet, rolling boulders, and sliding keys all sound distinct.  There are also notable effects when dealing with buttons, vortexes, or gravity shifting curtains.  It all makes sense in the moment.  The music is nice, but can get repetitive when puzzle solving takes too long.

Morally, this game is squeaky clean.  There are some loosely philosophical phrases that tell the story of the protagonist, but they are hardly offensive.  There are a handful of crosses in the game near a cemetery scene in a still photo.  And when you die, it speaks of pain, or floating endlessly.  Other than some mildly existential themes, it's as clean as it gets.

The Bridge is half art, half game.  The art is definitely well done.  The game is also quite polished, though in my opinion, a bit short.  There are 24 main levels, and later, 24 mirror levels.  If you are willing to consult a walkthrough, it could easily be completed in a few hours.  But if not, some of them are extremely difficult.  While I solved the vast majority of them myself, I had to consult a walkthrough a few times.  They can be very challenging.  If you are up for it, I'd recommend you give The Bridge a good look.

 

 

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Jason Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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