The Bridge confuses me something fierce. Much like, I assume everybody, I enjoy a good puzzle game every now and then. Unlike most, though, I enjoy them more like a good song popping up on the radio. I don’t necessarily go looking for them, but when a good one shows up I’m usually excited.
Challenge is a tricky thing for puzzle games. There at a few methods to go about when developing a puzzle game (at least in my head). There is the casual, it’s almost too easy approach for wide appeal. You may not want to finish this title, but you did enjoy it. There’s the middle of the road difficulty which usually teeters on going one way or the other throughout the game, but it’s got enough challenge that you want to finish it. Then there is the, “holy crap, what the heck” level of difficulty. You just want to make puzzles that seem impossible, but really aren’t. You aren’t satisfied unless the player is chewing on his controller out of frustration.
All of that is well and good, but The Bridge breaks the mold for me. It’s an all new form because while the puzzles are difficult at times, they are more just confusing. It’s the mix of the M. C. Ecsher type visual twisties that have me all mixed up. I was stuck on one puzzle and I can’t tell you how many times I tried it. I eventually put the Wii U controller down before I put my fist through it. Then a bud of mine just comes up and starts playing it on his rig and hits the same puzzle. Four to five minutes later he beats it with not a blink… so I hit him.
As difficult as The Bridge is to complete for me, it’s more difficult to describe so I’ll do my best. You’re a guy (maybe Escher) and you walk into your house. Instead of it just being your house, it’s a LSD trip and you have to make it out. However, there are these angry balls that want to crush you… or is it that you want to crush yourself with them because ultimately, you control where they go. Is this a deep introspective thing about my personal feelings towards myself or a puzzle game? I don’t even know! All I know is that you want to make it to the door without getting crushed and maybe grab a key or two while you’re on your way. Don’t hug the balls though… they don’t like it.