The Bridge
The Bridge is a homage to both the art style and the mind bending perspective shifts of M. C. Escher, wrapped in a puzzle solving game. The gameplay is simple enough; your avatar (who looks like Escher himself) only has the ability to walk left or right so the puzzle solving is primarily accomplished by being able to rotate the entire screen a full 360 degrees and using gravity, warps and other tessellations. You can also use a Prince of Persia like reverse time control to rewind your actions and undo any deaths you may experience or bad decisions you may have made. The deaths themselves leave little smudged outlines of the character onscreen which is an interesting way to mark your “progress”.
 
With such simple controls, the meat of the game is exploring the various levels, which are all lovingly rendered in a black and white pencil drawing art style like the famous lithographs that inspired this work. There is some basic exposition of a “story” that is related a sentence or two at a time but it’s really not relevant. If you’ve ever wanted to play inside an Escher drawing or move alone a Möbius strip, now’s your chance.
 
As a game however, there’s not a ton of meat on these bones – the primary appeal is to see the artistically inspired level designs. While some can be visually daunting, most people will probably be able to solve the puzzles. When people talk about games being art, it’s clear the creators were aiming at the art part of the discussion. Available on Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, the normal price for this game is $10-15, but getting it on sale would be a better value for most gamers. Insert joke about endlessly climbing stairs here.

 

game: the bridge

developer: the quantum astrophysics guild

publisher: the quantum astrophysics guild

release date: february 22, 2013

other games like it: limbo (from playdead), braid (from jonathan blow)

author: xilren’s twin