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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Do you dare to know more about Braid?

"Jonathan Blow's game Braid has been much talked about but little played, since he has been keeping the game under very tight wraps. Braid won the award for Innovation in Game Design at the 2006 IGF, but no demo was posted. Braid was discussed at the 2006 Experimental Gameplay Workshop, but no demo was posted. Braid was entered into the 2007 IGF and Slamdance festivals, and still no demo was posted.

Braid was selected as a Slamdance finalist, and I was heading to Slamdance too, so it seemed like I was finally going to get to play this elusive game. Alas, controversy erupted (when SCMRPG was pulled from the finalist list), and Jon pulled his game from the festival in protest. I wasn't going to play-test Braid at Slamdance after all.

However, somewhere along the way, Jon was nice enough to send me a snapshot build for review purposes. That build, version 0.847, is the subject of this preview. The build is a little rough around the edges, with place-holder graphics still lurking in the later levels and some performance issues in the early levels that were nearly complete (on a 1.9 GHz machine with a GeForce4 graphics card, this 2D platform game saw major slow-down when played at it's ideal resolution).

Even with this rough build, I was able to draw one simple conclusion without doubts or reservations: Braid is the most innovative and interesting game I have ever played.

Braid has the potential to change the way you think about reality. It will certainly change the way you think about video games. In this preview, I will explain why it has this power, using detailed examples from the game.

However, part of the game's interest lies in it's surprise factor: there is great joy to be had in discovering just how clever this game is for yourself. In fact, I am glad that I never read a preview of this game before I was lucky enough to play it myself.

All I knew, and all you should know if you want the full experience, is that Braid is a 2D platform game in which the player manipulates the flow of time. If you're willing to wait for an official release, you should stop reading here."
I stopped reading there, but maybe you won't? :)

Arthouse Games - Exclusive Preview: Braid

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