It's worth a look.

Monday, August 11, 2008
Fifteen dollars may seem like a lot to some of you. It is a lot for me these days. Sadly, the time when I could buy at least a game a month are over. And, no it's not just because of spotty releases. Money is a hard thing to hold onto these days, I know. There are a few things that always take priority; food, rent, blah blah blah. If somewhere in there you have about fifteen dollars to spare, you should get Braid if at all possible.

The game looks like a standard Mario clone at first glance, down to goomba-like enemies, a distinctly Bowser-esque boss and even the classic line "the princess is in another castle." Don't be fooled by this veneer though, it's not a clone but an artistic homage to the game that defined our 2d sidescroller prerequisites. The puzzles in this game are beautifully maddening, with distortion of time playing a pivotal role in every world you enter. There is an entire world in which the progression of time depends on the direction you move.

The story is one of love spoiled for reasons still unknown to me. It's told through a series of books at the beginning of each world. While they expose small parts of the story, they mostly hint at the peculiarities of the world you're about to enter. The story seems well thought out, but I feel like I'm intruding on the developer's personal diary. It all reads like a game developers version of a break-up song. I feel like an jerk for reading these things about my characters faults when I've barely been introduced to him. All I really know is that his name is Tim, he has a ring that slows time, and that he hates himself.

Despite the almost depressing backstory, the art of the game is absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds are stunningly bright, painted landscapes. This game is a living impressionist masterpiece. Every piece of art has the look of being hand drawn and painted by a man obsessed. It's breathtaking to look at while you play.

I don't think this is a game you will regret playing or buying. Once I'm sure that I have all my bills taken care of, I'm upgrading from my trial version. I suggest you do the same if you are able. And if this hasn't convinced you, at least try the demo, it's free after all.