I didn’t like Braid.
This worried me a bit. I mean, it was probably the most lauded independently-developed game of the last couple years, and I could not make myself interested in it.
Was I, I wondered, hopelessly lost to mainstream gaming, doomed to live a life of yearly Madden and Call of Duty games? Had I, in short, lost my “cred”?
Turns out, no.
Last Christmas, I bought my wife a copy of World of Goo, which seems to have been Braid’s successor as the darling of the indie games crowd. She played it a bit, and showed me how it worked, and it looked neat… but I had a lot of other games on my plate and it didn’t seem right to dive into her Christmas present.
Then came 2D Boy’s “birthday sale”, where they were giving away copies of the game to anyone who’d send them money… any amount of money, from a penny up.
I wasn’t that much of a cheap bastard. I gave them five bucks to download the Mac version, let it sit around on the hard drive for a few weeks, and then decided to give it a go. That was yesterday evening.
Today, I can say a few things for sure:
1) It’s a pretty short game, but it feels like a good length. Think of it like “Portal” – it is Just Long Enough without wearing out its welcome.
2) The “Tower of Goo” level is a right bastard.
3) So is “You Have to Explode the Head”
4) Apart from those two levels, the game is consistently on the “fun” side of the “fun/frustration” line. The game has nearly 50 levels. That’s a pretty good ratio.
5) I feel that I have redeemed myself for my inability to enjoy “Braid”