So over the Christmas weekend, my boyfriend introduced me to an incredible game! It's called Braid, and it's a puzzle game that deals with turning back time...
I don't even know how to describe it, it's simply an enjoyable experience to play! The puzzles are challenging, but rewarding. The art style of the game seems entirely done in soft, colorful water-colors, and how each level seems to represent another season. It's just beautiful!
Another thing I like is that Braid makes lots of funny references to the Mario games!
Even down to the enemies the main character, Tim, has to jump on to defeat.
The best thing I like about the game is the in-game text, which appears before you have to play each level. It really makes a great story. One that I'd really like to share with you.
SPOILERS!!! If you'd rather play the game and see the text yourself, then you don't have to read any of this.
(Yes, it starts off with Chapter 2. Apparantly the first chapter comes last, for some reason...)
"Chapter 2: Time and Forgiveness"
"Not just one. He made many mistakes during the time they spent together, all those years ago. Memories of their relationship have become muddled, replaced wholesale, but one remains clear: the princess turning sharply away, her braid lashing at him with contempt." "He knows she tried to be forgiving, but who can just shrug away a guilty lie, a stab in the back? Such a mistake will change a relationship irreversibly, even if we have learned from the mistake and would never repeat it. The princess's eyes grew narrower. She became more distant." "Our world, with its rules of causality, has trained us to be miserly with forgiveness. By forgiving them too readily, we can be badly hurt. But if we've learned from a mistake and became better for it, shouldn't we be rewarded for the learning, rather than punished for the mistake?" "What if our world worked differently? Suppose we could tell her: 'I didn't mean what I just said,' and she would say: 'It's okay, I understand,' and she would not turn away, and life would really proceed as though we had never said that thing? We could remove the damage but still be wiser for the experience." "Tim and the Princess lounge in the castle garden, laughing together, giving names to the colorful birds. Their mistakes are hidden from each other, tucked away between the folds of time, safe.""Tim is off on a search to rescue the Princess. She has been snatched by ahorrible and evil monster. This happened because Tim made a mistake.""Chapter 3: Time and Mystery"
"All those years ago, Time had left the Princess behind. He had kissed her on the neck, picked up his travel bag, and walked out the door. He regrets this, to a degree. Now he's journeying to find her again, to show her knows how sad it was, but also to tell her how good it was." "For a long time, he thought they had been cultivating the perfect relationship. He had been fiercely protective, reversing all his mistakes so they would not touch her. Likewise, keeping a tight rein on her own mistakes, she always pleased him." "But to be fully couched within the comfort of a friend is a mode of existence with severe implications. To please you perfectly, she must understand you perfectly. Thus you cannot defy her expectations or escape her reach. Her benevolence has circumscribed you, and your life's achievements will not reach beyond the map she has drawn." "Tim needed to be non-manipulable. He needed a hope of transcendence. He needed, sometimes, to be immune to the Princess's caring touch." "Off in the distance, Tim saw a castle where the flags flutter even when the wind has expired, and the bread in the kitchen is always warm. A little bit of magic.""Chapter 4: Time and Place"
"Visiting his home for a holiday meal, Tim felt as though he had regressed to those long-ago years when he lived under their roof, oppressed by their insistence on upholding strange values which, to him, were meaningless. Back then, bickering would erupt over drops of gravy spilt onto the tablecloth." "Escaping, Tim walked in the cool air toward the university he'd attended after moving out of his parent's home. As he distanced himself from that troubling house, he felt the embarrassment of childhood fading into the past. But now he stepped into all the insecurities he'd felt at the university, all the panic of walking a social tightrope." "Tim only felt relieved after the whole visit was over, sitting back home in the present, steeped in contrast he saw how he'd improved so much from those old days. This improvement, day by day, takes him ever-closer to finding the Princess. If she exists - she must! - she will transform him, and everyone." "He felt on his trip that every place stirs up an emotion, and every emotion invokes a memory: a time and location. So couldn't he find the Princess now, tonight, just by wandering from place to place and noticing how he feels? A trail of feelings, of awe and inspiration, should lead him to that castle in the future her arms enclosing him, her scent fills him with excitement, creates a moment so strong he can remember it in the past." "Immediately Tim walked out his door, the next morning, toward whatever the new day held. He felt something like optimism.""Chapter 5: Time and Decision"
"She never understood the impulses that drove him, never quite felt the intensity that, over time, chiseled lines into his face. She never quite felt close enough to him - but he held her as though she were, whispered into her ear words that only a soul mate should receive." "Over the remnants of dinner, they both knew the time had come. He would have said: 'I have to go find the Princess,' but he didn't need to. Giving a final kiss, hoisting a travel bag to his shoulder, he walked out the door. Through all the nights that followed, she still loved him as though he stayed, to comfort her and protect her, Princess be damned."
That's as far as I've gotten in the game. I still have Chapter 6, Chapter 1 and Epilogue to go. When I finish the game, I'll reveal what happens in the end and what I think of the whole experience.