You could tell that Jonathan Blow, the guy who made Braid, had a broken heart. And you could also tell that he sat around picking apart the relationship and the break-up, wondering what he’d do differently if he had the chance.
With a Super Mario Bros.-influenced template and the ability to manipulate time, this beloved indie game gave players a chance to play through one man’s emotional aftermath. The impressionist art style and chamber music all added to the affective impact of the game, but it was the maddeningly contradictory puzzles that lured players in.
They looked simple after you solved them, but they gave you fits to find a solution. You never died in Braid; you just rewound the clock and kept trying to solve the enigma of protagonist Tim’s memory. And once you finished the game, your sense of your own lifeline felt realigned and you felt ready to take on new challenges.
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