If you're looking for a platform game that puts time (and mind) bending puzzles in your way, look no further...

User Rating: 9 | Braid PS3
As far as moves go, the hero of this game is rather limited. You can jump, climb and pounce on enemies. Oh, you can carry keys as well. But your main ability is to control the flow of time. And we're not just talking rewinding time (although you can), but your specific time-controlling power changes from world to world. For example, in one world you can create doubles of yourself to perform actions while you are off somewhere else. In another, you can put down a ring that slows time within the area of effect. And in one, moving right causes time to move forwards, while moving left causes it to reverse.

And that's not all that makes this game interesting. Green glowing objects are immune to your time powers, so when you slow time down or rewind it, the object keeps on doing what it wants regardless. Pink glowing objects can be manipulated by your double as well as yourself. Doors block your way and keys can only be used once, unless you rewind time. But of course, doors, keys and even enemies can also glow green or pink, adding more layers of behaviour to this complex game.

The game is actually not made up of very many objects at all. There's only two enemy types, excluding the one simple boss type. But the ingenious ways they are put together never ceases to confuse. You are constantly forced to think not just in 2-D space, but time as well. And since some objects don't always react to time in the same way as others, it becomes quite the challenge to work out exactly what's going to do what and when, and what you have to do to proceed.

You can fly through pretty much every level without stopping for the puzzles, since the exit is not usually blocked. But if you want to complete the game properly, you have to find the jigsaw pieces, and it is for these that the puzzles exist. The jigsaw pieces, once found, are part of a twelve-piece jigsaw for each world. Solve all the jigsaws to gain access to the hidden chapter at the end. Each world has several levels that are accessed by stepping through doors, and each level has its own door. The door helpfully shows the number of jigsaw pieces left to collect within that level above it. If the main game was a bit easy, you can always try the time-trials afterwards.

The music does stand out a bit much for me, and I felt as though it was trying to intrude at times, but then again there isn't much else in the way of sound except for the retro-style sound effects. The music does however obey the rules of time, and goes into reverse when time is rewound. The game's story, which is heavy on metaphors, is told through story books in each world room and is a bit difficult to follow. Visuals are colourful; the foreground looks like a cartoon, while the backgrounds look like moving watercolour paintings, and the whole thing looks very pretty.

Braid looks initially to be a simple platform game with almost nothing to it, but make no mistake; Braid's simple elements constantly come together in innovative new ways, making this game a lot more challenging than it looks.

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