Braid is a puzzle video game available for Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, and PlayStation 3. The game was developed and published by Number None in August 2008.
The story of Braid follows the protagonist Tim who attempts to rescue a princess from a monster. The relationship between Tim and the princess is vague, but the only clear part is that Tim has made some sort of mistake and he will do anything to make up for it. Each of the six worlds in Braid provides more insight into Tim’s quest for the princess. The game doesn’t end on the final level, but instead, the player finds additional texts that expand the story. The ending of the game is cryptic and has been subject to multiple interpretations.
The gameplay of Braid is all about solving physical puzzles. The player is in control of Tim as he runs, jumps, and climbs across the game’s levels. Tim defeats his enemies by stomping on them, and he needs to collect keys to unlock doors and operate levers to trigger platforms. On top of that, the player has an unlimited ability to reverse time and rewind actions. The story of the game is divided into six worlds that are played sequentially and can be entered from different rooms of Tim’s house. Each world comes with its own time-based game mechanic.
There are six worlds
- World No.2 “Time and Forgiveness” includes several challenges that would be unplayable or unfair in an ordinary platform game, however, the ability to rewind time and undo the actions makes things easier.
- World No.3 “Time and Mystery” has objects that are unaffected by time manipulation. This makes things a lot more interesting as rewinding can be used to change the synchronization between objects that cannot be rewound.
- World No.4 “Time and Place” link the passage of time to the player character’s location on the horizontal axis. This means that when the player moves toward the right, the time flows forward, but if he moves toward the left, he reverses the flow. On top of that, standing still or moving vertically will pause the time. This forces the player to carefully manage his location in relation to enemies and objects.
- World No.5 “Time and Decision” introduces a shadow of the player’s character every time the player rewinds time. This shadow performs the action that the real player character rewound if the timeline expires. This means that the shadow will complete any falls and jumps but otherwise will stand still before disappearing. There are some objects that can interact with both the main character and his shadow at the same time. Most of the puzzles in this level require the player to use this mechanic in order to complete them.
- World No.6 “Hesitance” equips the player with a magic ring that wraps the flow of time around itself. The closer moving objects are to it, the slower time passes for them.
- The final world is named “1”. In this world, time flows in reverse. Each world is packed with puzzle pieces that must be collected to create the jigsaw puzzles that tell the story. Upon its release, Braid was met with positive reviews, with an aggregate review score of 93%.