I finally beat: Braid

I finally beat: Braid

Well, finally may not be the right word.  I played through this one pretty quick.  My initial impressions held up throughout, and exceeded in terms of story.  Very similar to Portal in both story presentation and gameplay.  Platforming that requires perfect timing and precision, but a gameplay mechanic that makes what seems impossible easy.  It is less about skill, and more about knowing what you want to do. So, let’s delve into a few specifics of things Braid did right and wrong, as a compliment Sandwich:

+ The art style is amazing.  Water color backgrounds and high res, 2d drawings bring the world of Braid to life.  Games as Art requires many things, but a still screenshot of Braid is almost enough.  A moving screenshot certainly is.  Throw in the gameplay, music, and story, and you are sold.  It may not be Art you like, but you’ve certainly seen worse sold for more.

– Tim looks dumb.  Of course, it turns out there is a reason for this.  But it is certainly initially off putting.  No matter how much he grows on you as the game progresses, everyone has the same viceral reaction: “Why is a fat Harry Potter running around?”

+ Amazing puzzle mechanics that aren’t fucking blocks.  Tim cannot “push” anything into position.  You can jump, rewind time, green glowing things aren’t affected, and the rest I won’t spoil.  Sure, there are keys and doors, but those are made to be interesting through inventive level design.

– The difficulty can be a bit much at first.  There are a few pieces in each world that are simply MUCH harder than the others.  Often this means you’ll be forced to move on with the game and come back to these sections, not because the backtracking is required but because you just won’t be able to figure some of these out without sitting on it for a day.  Some of these appear as early as the first world you visit (10-15 minutes in), which can be really off-putting.

+ Backtracking is made easy since you can visit any world from the hub, and any level within the world.  Since it only takes a minute, maybe 2, to transverse a level, backtracking is entirely painless and you can revisit and particular puzzle you want without hassle.  Each level door even displays the number of pieces left to find above it.  This game, like Sands of TIme, simply doesn’t require a walk-through.  Ever.

To see what I mean, visit the official walkthrough here:


– The Story of Braid is ‘Pretentious’.  You read books in between levels that are a bit obscure.  Like an episode of Lost or Heroes, you are given only a scant amount of information; and that you are given is often out of context.

+ The Story is amazing.  The pieces come together at the end without the game hitting your over the head with them.  You still have to figure it out, and there is a bit to discuss, like Memento or Donnie Darko.  After you’ve fully discussed it with friends, you can then go online and see everything you missed.  Don’t ruin this one ahead of time.  Just make sure to read the books as you go.

Braid is difficult to describe, but fun enough that 9 people can play the game at once and be entertained when only one person is actually controlling Tim.  This is exactly what happened this last pLayday at my Apt.  Friends got phone calls, where they then tried to describe what they were doing but couldn’t.  The skeptic was at the controls by World 4.  Ideas were skoffed, miserable failure was followed by laughter, success was applauded.

Mario meets time control is the most you can let on;

the most that can be told.

But, that isn’t really enough, is it?

You’ll have to journey to find the rest.

8 thoughts on “I finally beat: Braid

  1. First, that’s a big sandwich.

    I think “Game as art” isn’t as simple as a screenshot (because then it’s not really a “Game as art” but rather an “image on a canvas”, and that could probably be considered a separate art form.)

    I think if game as art can be defined, the most important piece of that puzzle is the gameplay/interaction. That’s what, in my mind, separates video games from other forms of media.

  2. You should probably play Braid already ;)

    Look at it this way, just beating it gives you all but 10(?) points.

    Just, whatever you do, don’t read anything about it. Just try playing it with as little info as you can.

    Oh, except for the official walkthrough. You can read through that right now.

    Games as art is an entire other post. That was just a way of saying it’s REALLY pretty to look at.

    Braid as art, though, certainly could be discussed. Just not without *massive* spoilers. Which would have to be in some, new kind of post. with spoiler tags. and a password: “ibeatbraid”

  3. I’ve played Cursor10 before. Pretty fun. Took a couple of tries before I figured it out. Requires you to still be pretty speedy though, or you run out of time anyway.

    “First, that’s a big sandwich.”
    That’s because I have a big mouth.

    Ho, Hooooo.

  4. Ah, so your definition of art is “REALLY pretty to look at.”

    By the by, all the MASSIVE amounts of information I have about from braid is from you, talking about it every time we encounter each other.

  5. You really have to play and beat Braid already. ;) I’ll back phokal up here. Braid can quite easily be considered art, but a big part of that argument requires discussing the ending and bits of the story that are only revealed fully in the epilogue. Since he doesn’t want to ruin it for you his arguments are a bit limited.

    Many things about Braid were absolutely inspired. Yes, it’s really pretty to look at, and the shader and particle effects really add to that, but there’s a whole lot to it that you can’t appreciate until you’ve given it a shot. Easily one of the best games this year.

  6. Oh, I finished Braid. It was pretty good, but by word 6, it was pretty much autopilot. The puzzles weren’t necessarily the same, but you would just use your new ability and interact with the same objects. I think it was the perfect length though(kinda like portal, where things stretched out a bit but overall right when I felt like things should wrap up, they went on for just a little bit and then wrapped up).

    Overall, great game. Glad to have played it and it was short.

  7. Yep. For me, the game could have been 1 world longer but I figured it was nice and short for you. Plus, free 160-180? points basically.

    I didn’t think the levels copied and pasted themselves as much as you and yahtzee mention, but the game certainly did get easier due to getting used to your time mechanics. A similar thing happens in Prince of Persia: Two Thrones. The puzzles in that game were easily the hardest of the series, but by that point you are just so used to the mechanics you see solutions easily. Going back to Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is tough after that because the puzzles are almost amateurish.

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