Let’s start with some facts
The Bridge is an independent game created by Ty Taylor and Mario Castabeda, and was one of the ten games chosen to be showcased at PAX Prime 2012 as part of the PAX 10. It has also won an Achievement in Gameplay and Art Direction at the Indie Game Challenge, an honourable mention for Excellence in Visual Art at the Independent Games Festival 2013 and it made the Student Showcase in 2012, plus an honourable mention for innovation at Dream Build Play... the list goes on, this game is getting the eye from all directions.
The game itself is a 2D logic puzzle game made for PC, where you play with and break the laws of physics to solve the puzzles and proceed through the game. You play as Isaac Newton and make your way from one puzzle to the next, and each one has its own unique quirks and difficulties. The Bridge describes itself as 'Isaac Newton meets M.C Escher', and after 20 seconds of play that makes total sense. I'll warn you now, this game makes hours disappear. The controls are fairly simple but it’s what you can do with these controls that make this game so amazing. You literally have to turn the world upside-down and forget what you know about gravity to solve some of these puzzles.
It’s not just your mind, it’s the way you look that attracts me
It would be rude to not mention the graphics and design for this game. Done entirely in a hand drawn black and white style, each puzzle looks like the best pencil sketch you’ve ever seen. Each twist and turn is a potential floor or ceiling. Accompanied by perfect, thought-provoking mood music,The Bridge sucks you in and holds you. I constantly found myself eager to complete each level just to see what the next one looks like.
Lastly but not leastly, my thoughts
I’m a big fan of puzzle games, so this was an easy sell for me, but that doesn’t make the game any less awesome. I almost find myself missing a detailed storyline in games that don’t have them, but this isn’t that kind of game - it’s not totally devoid of story, it’s just not a who-done-it murder mystery, but it also doesn’t have to be. This is art this is something to be admired, it’s also very engaging and mentally stimulating. If I really wanted to I could listen to a Harry Potter audio book while playing, but I think my brain might explode if I did. This game is challenging in a way that makes you want to try harder to succeed, and when you finally solve a puzzle that’s had you stumped you feel like you’ve achieved something.
The Bridge comes out on the 22nd of Feb on Steam and is available for pre-order. So, if you like puzzles, if you like art, if you like mental challenge, if you’re in any way curious about this game I urge you to check itout. I promise that after a few hours it won’t just be the map that’s spinning.
And just in case, a bit of history
For those who haven't heard of it before, PAX 10 is a carefully moderated showcase of the top ten Indie games of the year. Selected from over a hundred entries and curated by a panel of over fifty industry veterans, it aims to bring into the limelight the most fun and innovative indie games from all over the globe. I bring this up because it’s where I first heard about the game.