Review: The Bridge

The Bridge is a puzzler, which likes to futz with gravity, mess with your sense of perspective and takes great delight in being responsible for melting your brain with its nifty collection of gravity-shifting conundrums. There’s something quite endearing – and familiar – about The Bridge’s lead character. Resplendent in blazer, diamond-emblazoned jumper, well-knotted tie and round spectacles, he is an intriguing fellow – and the mystery behind him and the gravity-defying world he inhabits is just as mesmirising.

Clearly taking its visual cue from the head-scratching drawings by Dutch artist MC Escher, The Bridge is a thoroughly absorbing title and one which fuses simple controls with visually complex levels.
The player is able to walk the protagonist left and right and can rotate the screen both clockwise and anti-clockwise, with the ultimate goal of reaching a door which then whisks our smartly-presented gentleman into another, more complicated warped world.

Of course, that sounds simple but The Bridge is anything but. Snaffling keys unlocks these doors, but the act of collecting them is a lot tougher than you might initially imagine.

They have a tendency to slip into the ether through gaps in the levels as you gingerly rotate the world, dangle tantalisingly just out of reach and perch precariously on ledges. Even when you manage to collect these monochrome treasures, you still have to navigate your way to the exit – no easy task, especially when giant grinning stone marbles are intent on erasing you from existence and quirky vortexes like to swallow everything and anything that gets too close. Thankfully, The Bridge lets the player rewind time so they are free to finely tune their tactics and this nifty Prince of Persia-like mechanic keeps the game ticking along nicely.

But even though some of the puzzles are maddening – especially when polarity is introduced – the sublime monochrome pencil sketch visuals and gentle music keep the player engaged and seeing what fresh mental torture awaits keeps the player moving doggedly on.

The Bridge, then, is a rather fine game and like any good puzzler there’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment when you finally figure out a level. Polished, brilliantly presented and delightfully devilishly, a stroll across this bridge into another world is a trip you should definitely take.

Kilted Moose

I'm Scott Munro - former games columnist at the Scottish Daily Record. In 2010, I was shortlisted for Regional Games Columnist of the Year at the Games Media Awards. I've also scribbled words for IGN UK, Game People and the Sunday Mirror's games page.