“The Bridge” review

 

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An interesting platformer that uses M.C. Escher-style stages, “The Bridge” will push the bounds of your creative thinking skills.

This indie game has been on Steam for a while, but has recently been made available on Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s respective console’s digital stores. That may explain a lot when looking at the game in terms of design and flow. While fun and creative, it doesn’t seem like something that console players would really go for.

Platformers, particularly on consoles, are usually a lot more twitchy and fast-paced than “The Bridge.” Think “Guacamelee” or “Mega Man.” Those tend to translate pretty well to consoles. Conversely, games like “Super Meat Boy” or “Broforce” are essentially console platformers made for PC.

“The Bridge” is much more cerebral and methodical. As you start off, the game slowly teaches you the mechanics puzzle by puzzle. The most common tool you’ll end up using is the ability to rotate the 2D stages 360 degrees in 3-dimensional space. This allows the character to traverse the planes in new ways that seemed impossible at first.

For example, rotating a stage may allow you to walk up the walls and across the barriers between two rooms to a third room. This is where the M.C. Escher-inspired designs come in to play. I’ll admit that it takes a couple of tries to think outside of the normal parameters of platformers, but once you get through the first few, you’ll be able to understand what’s going on.

Frustration will hit you at some point. This is definitely a result of non-conventional puzzle solving. There’s a rewind ability that serves as a sort of restart button for when you fly off the stage or get hit by the crazy wrecking-ball enemy that they throw in to add to the difficulty. You can also just start the whole puzzle over if you get too lost.

The surreal art style and extra-dimensional gameplay can take some getting used to.

The surreal art style and extra-dimensional gameplay can take some getting used to.

Is “The Bridge” fun? It has its moments that give you a genuine sense of accomplishment, sure. Is it riveting or did it capture my imagination? Not really. I think this may just be a case of me not being the right audience for this game.

The art is impressive, the design is solid, the game itself is pretty well put together, and it’s definitely a great accomplishment for an independent studio. There is no doubt about that, and I applaud the creators. I do not think that it’s going to take off like many other indie games have done on consoles.

Do I recommend “The Bridge?” Sure. It’s not a bad game at all, and if you’re looking for some good inspiration for your own projects then “The Bridge” is your game. It is definitely an acquired taste though. Go check out “The Bridge” on Steam, the Xbox Live Marketplace, the PlayStation Store, and the Wii U eShop.