There are not many games that capture an atmosphere and play to its strengths in the way that The Bridge does. The hand-drawn world is fairly evocative of M.C. Escher’s creations, although the puzzle designs and elaborate backgrounds do well to distinguish The Bridge with its own style.
Created by a two-man team of artist Mario Castañeda and designer/programmer Ty Taylor, The Bridge introduces players to a number of mind-bending 2D logic puzzles that will leave players challenged by their interpretations of space and rewarded after the completion of each level.
Where the game truly succeeds is in its unification of a radical art style and a unique design philosophy. The game gradually progresses players through its four different chapters that span 24 levels. Introductory mechanics are relatively simple, but newer additions add a higher yet still accessible degree of difficulty as the game goes on.
Gamers of all types should be able to enjoy The Bridge, despite some difficulty spikes later on in the main portion of the game. Levels do not take long to complete once the solution has been figured out and the variety of problems to be solved keep each area feeling fresh. The Bridge has never made me so happy to be confused — I enjoyed the myriad of ways you need to think outside the box in order to complete a level, especially when accompanied by a slew of gorgeous art pieces.
As great as the design and art style are, one of the few negative aspects of the game is in regards to the slow pace of the gameplay. This is mostly symptomatic of the design and is easily forgivable for many levels in the game. However, there are times in which the player will know how to finish a puzzle but has to patiently navigate their way to the end. I also encountered a few issues where restarting or rewinding became time-intensive, but that will vary based on the player’s ability to solve The Bridge’s puzzles.
Overall, The Bridge presents players with a challenging series of puzzles chock full of eye candy. Even inexperienced gamers will be able to take on the game and come away successful, and completing each puzzle feels mentally satisfying. The atmosphere, sound, and puzzle design are all incredibly engaging and stimulating. The Bridge also offers replayability in the form of “mirrored” levels after completion of the initial 24 puzzles, adding new mechanics and a layer of complexity that will keep players engaged for hours. I would highly recommend the game to anyone looking for a unique take on art in games and the puzzle genre as a whole.
The Bridge is available now on Steam for $14.99, a bargain for the content included in the game.