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Braid

MobyRank MobyScore
Xbox 360
92
4.3
PlayStation 3
91
3.6
Macintosh
87
4.3
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Description

Braid is a puzzle game disguised as a 2D platformer. The player controls Tim during his search for a princess he has known and lost. Although the objective appears to be rather straightforward at first, the meaning and the motives become much more implicit and are interwoven with the mechanics during the course of the game. From a main hub, Tim can eventually access six worlds that consist of different areas. The start of each world reveals a part of the Tim's background and emotions, rather than progressing a storyline. The second to the sixth world can be entirely explored without solving all the puzzles. Difficult situations can be ignored and revisited later. When all worlds have been completed, the first one becomes available and brings closure to the story.

The game's concept is entirely based around time manipulation. Tim cannot die permanently as the player can rewind time at any moment and usually for any length, even all the way back when an area was entered. While rewinding, the music is synchronized in a similar fashion. Rather than a gimmick, rewinding is an essential element to solve the puzzles. The different worlds give a spin to the mechanic by introducing clones as the player collaborates in a parallel reality with a past version of himself, time can be affected through the movement direction, and Tim can create a circular area to cause time dilation. Certain items, enemies and parts of the scenery are immune to time manipulation or behave in a very different way. Puzzles require close examination of the environment and the behaviour of different items and enemies. As such, the game is entirely about solving the puzzle theoretically by applying the game mechanics and then using trial and error to executive it and discover possible flaws in the proposed logic. This also brings limited replayability to the game.

A world is solved by collecting the puzzle pieces. These need to be arranged and eventually show a picture related to the game's story. There is no filler in the level design, meaning that every platform, item or game element (except for a few enemies) has a specific purpose to solve a puzzle. Fast times can be tracked in a separate speedrun mode.

The later released Windows and Macintosh versions are identical, but come with a level editor.

Screenshots

Braid Windows One of level loading screens
Braid Windows Each world has a hunting level. Kill enemies with current time rules.
Braid Xbox 360 You can use the shoulder buttons to speed up the rewind.
Braid Xbox 360 Title screen.

Alternate Titles

  • "ブレイド" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Easy to play, hard to get Xbox 360 Sciere (245760)
Poetry Windows Lumpi (197)
Braid: Masterpiece or merely above-average Windows krisko6 (252)
Brain Windows NeoJ (428)
Poor puzzles, poor story and poor references, but hey, it's artsy so we have to like it. Windows Pixelspeech (955)
Time and Lions Windows Pagen HD (81)

The Press Says

Game Shark Xbox 360 Aug 20, 2008 A 100
EL33TONLINE Xbox 360 Sep 16, 2008 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Defunct Games Xbox 360 Aug 08, 2008 96 out of 100 96
Play.tm Xbox 360 Aug 19, 2008 94 out of 100 94
MS Xbox World Xbox 360 Aug 24, 2008 9 out of 10 90
videogamer.com Xbox 360 Aug 07, 2008 9 out of 10 90
IGN Xbox 360 Aug 04, 2008 8.8 out of 10 88
PSX Extreme PlayStation 3 Nov 16, 2009 8.7 out of 10 87
Worth Playing Xbox 360 Sep 02, 2008 8.5 out of 10 85
Indius Linux Dec 21, 2011 17 out of 20 85

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
Recommended literature 10 Sciere (245760)
Sep 07, 2008

Trivia

Budget

Developer Jonathan Blow said he invested about $180,000 of his own money in a three year period to create the game.

Inspiration

In an interview with the website Joystiq on 25th September 2008 Jonathan Blow cites the musical influences that initially lived in the same emotional neighborhood as Braid: the album Horse Stories by Dirty Three, the music of Lisa Gerrard, and the soundtrack to Dead Man by Neil Young.

References

Many of Braid's levels appear to draw their names from various cultural sources: level 3.2 -- There and Back Again -- is from fictitious hobbit Bilbo Baggins' autobiographical account of his adventures in author J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, while level 3.4 -- The Ground Beneath Her Feet -- is named either after a book of the same name by author Salman Rushdie or the U2 song also inspired by the book. Level 3.6 -- Irreversible -- suspiciously shares a title with a French film told employing an unorthodox time flow, while levels 4.2 -- Jumpman -- and 6.6 -- Elevator Action -- are names of video games. (Level 6.7 -- In Another Castle -- is one of many nods this game plays to the great granddaddy of the platform genre, Super Mario Bros.)

Awards

  • GameShark
    • 2009 - Best Xbox Live Arcade Game
  • GameSpy
    • 2008 – XBLA Game of the Year
  • IGN
    • 2009 - Overall Best Puzzle Game
    • 2009 - Best PS3 Puzzle Game
    • 2009 - Best PC Puzzle Game
Information also contributed by Big John WV and Sciere

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Kaminari (2064), Sciere (245760) and Iggi (4349)