Braid started off interestingly, with the dark shadow running through a background of skyscraper silhouettes. The graphics on the main character seemed very cool and I especially enjoyed that his hair and jacket blew in the wind as you run and jump. This beginning really did well with setting the tone for Tim’s ‘mysterious’ back-story, where he apparently betrayed a princess. This is where the Mario comparisons started to enter my mind. The books with background story were a pretty cool touch, though, and I got a heaven/hell sense with the coulds in comparison to the darkness of the first scene. Further the graphics of the grassy area and backgrounds were beautiful and the music was soothing.
The mechanics of the game were simple enough, but the game-play reminded me too much of Mario, to the point that it felt unoriginal. I did enjoy the shift function and found it quite innovative. It also fit the theme of a troubled past. As the game progressed, it was frustratingly similar to Mario, with the goombas, piranhas, and the ragdoll dinosaur that you met at the flag marking the end of each “World” (another Mario term). The rabbits were a more original feature (in my experience) and I liked the way the manipulation of time interacted with the glowing objects. I really began to excel with the way the game was played when shadows came into play and I thoroughly enjoyed the mental challenge it presented because it wasn’t a one-and-done system. For example if you mess up with the green keys, its over because they don’t move back in time.
My major problems were that the game was not immediately rewarding of good play, most of the levels could be skipped if you did not want to collect puzzle pieces, and that there was only one way to complete each level. The game was stimulating enough but without a perfect score, which I didn’t have the time/patience to achieve, you don’t see any reward for some of the harder things to do. There was also a lack of ability to interact with terrain, a feature that could have added a great deal of depth to the game. I suppose that I enjoyed it, overall, but I definitely don’t think it’s worth $10.