A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft unveiled their “Summer of Arcade” lineup for the month of August with some high profile titles that people have been waiting to play. One of the titles in that list, Braid, was released last week. Braid is one of those titles where you don’t really know what to expect before you play it, however, once you do play it you are immediately enthralled with it. The graphical style is unlike any other arcade game available on the Marketplace offering a distinctive water color-esque background. It defies categorization as it is simultaneously a 2-D puzzle solving time changing platformer. To survive and progress through this title you are going to have to think outside of the box and perform tasks that might seem impossible at first. There are a variety of different puzzles in this title whether you are trying to figure out how to get to a key that is across a chasm all the way to finding puzzle pieces in the environment so you can put together an actual old school puzzle.
The controls for Braid are simplistic and no one should have any problems quickly getting accustomed to the control scheme. If you have played similar platformers in the past then you will already be familiar with some of the concepts in Braid. To take out most enemies all you have to do is jump on their head. However you will come across some puzzles where something is out of your reach and you will have to use these same enemies to help you get to that elusive spot. For long time gamers there are also events and comments that will be immediately recognizable as being an homage to past titles. One such instance would be at the beginning of the game when you come across a castle. The person inhabiting the castle comes out to greet you by apologizing and saying your princess is not here and that she is in another castle.
The storyline for Braid will make you think and will toy with your perception of how things are and what could happen if they were different. The whole adventure seems surreal and is complemented by the masterful music you will encounter throughout all of the levels. The whole title is amazingly simple while being incredibly complex all at the same time. This title succeeds in almost every way and is definitely one of the shining examples of what we can hopefully expect from other independent titles. The only shortcoming of this title for some would probably be the length. It is a little on the short side, however the time you do spend in the world of Braid is amazing. This is a title that everyone must experience. Be sure to download it and show your support so that more independent titles can make their way to Xbox Live.