Braid was short and sweet. Some of the puzzles were almost frustrating, and there was one I couldn’t figure out for the life of me (the solution for it made perfect sense, once I knew what I was supposed to do, though). I’d definitely apply the word ‘gem’ to it: the graphics are beautiful, as is the music, and the gameplay mechanics are comfortable yet challenging for someone with experience with 2D platformers. Even for a beginner, the game is pretty forgiving, since there is no limit to the number of times you can fail and retry, and indeed, all you need to do to try again is rewind as far back as you need to to try again. That the gameplay mechanics fit the themes of the game’s story like a glove is a testament to Blow’s skill as a developer.

While I stayed away from gamefaqs.com the entire time – except for that one puzzle piece – I did go back shortly after finishing the game to see what I could find out about the story. Again, looking at it after reading someone else’s take on it, it makes perfect sense. Without the explanation, the story is intriguing, but not gripping – the gameplay carries most of the weight – but at the same time, I’m not sure how much my reactions to the game were tempered by the net commentary I’ve read about the game.

I’m still not certain whether I thought it was too short or not. I want to say no, because it definitely fell into that sweet spot where the gameplay was refreshing and entertaining throughout – no needless or sub-par filler – but a part of me wishes there had been a little more, which is always a good thing.

I don’t regret spending the money on it, since I’ve only barely just finished the game in two days, and haven’t explored any of the expanded content (speed runs, achievements, secret stuffs). It’s available on Steam now for $15 if you don’t already have it, and it’s still better value for money than going to watch a movie at the theater. Playing the game after reading about the game definitely has me looking forward to seeing what Jonathan Blow comes up with next. It might have even convinced me to be an early adopter.

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