• Braid


  • Puzzle Platformer


  • Number None


  • Microsoft Game Studios (original XBX360 release), Number None (everything else)

Release Date:

  • August 6, 2008 (for Xbox 360, PC version released 2009)


  • Windows, Xbox 360, Mac, Linux, PS3

Systems Used:

  • Mac OS X on MacBook, Windows 7 on PC, Windows XP on MacBook

On Wikipedia:

  • Yes - Spoilers

The Humble Indie Bundle games, which I got in 2011, were largely great (at least overall), and I don't even think I've tried all of them (Hammerfall, Cortex Command). Of what I played, I had my top three favorites. Two of those I've already covered: Machinarium, which I played some in late 2011 but didn't beat until May 2012, and VVVVVV. My third favorite was Braid.

Let's get one thing straight, Braid is probably one of the most pretentious indie games out there. But unlike story-driven "games" (in a loose sense), things like Sunset or Gone Home, things that I'll probably never cover here (with one notable exception I am actually interested in, but one that I still can't justify paying $15 for), Braid actually has gameplay.

It looks like a traditional Mario type platformer, but it isn't.

This review I actually started writing back in 2014, but reasons related to "I don't really have a PC that can run this properly" issue delayed this review. And to be entirely honest with you, because of the disconnect and the fact that I turned it on to discover I only had five puzzle pieces left to go, made me actually like the game less before I wrote the final review! Can I use a walkthrough now? I've already done 85% without cheating. Which is another weak point of the game. The official walkthrough attempts to sway you into thinking that the puzzles are able to be figured out, everything is reasonable, and using a real walkthrough would be depriving yourself of the experience. Unfortunately, it's not fair to say such things when some of the puzzles really are trial & error sometimes, and I specifically one puzzle from almost five years ago from when I first played where I thought "I've tried everything! Why isn't this working? It should work!", finally breaking down and consulting the walkthrough (again...), and discovering I had figured it out, it was mostly timing.

Now, despite Braid being one of my favorite games of 2011, it has a rather glaring error--to get 100% completion and see the full ending, you have to do some rather absurd things to get the stars (like waiting about 45 minutes on a slow-moving cloud) but it's nothing you can't figure out without GameFaqs. Only one, where you have to arrange a puzzle the wrong way to have one chance to gain a star (World 3) because if you don't do it correctly you'll lose that chance permanently. That is absolutely ridiculous and a design error that should've been left in the 1980s and their adventure games. Forgot to check the mailbox in the beginning of the game and take the letter? Ate or otherwise got rid of the garlic bulb you found at the beginning of the game? Didn't properly bandage the cut on your finger early on? You WON'T WIN! Yes, I know some games do have "one chance" things, but not when a game openly discourages you from using a walkthrough AND when these things are necessary to get the "true ending"! It's these things that cause the game to get bad marks. (All of those scenarios are from other games. Can you guess what they are?)

So, how is the rest of the game? Great. The music is gorgeous. Funnily enough, I actually benefitted my cousin's wedding when I helped him find the tracks inside the game which he then used in the actual wedding ceremony, and during that same time, while hobnobbing with my other cousins and family members, discovered new games that I ended up liking, namely Evil Genius. The graphics are smooth, the controls are great. On the list as it stands in the March 2016 update, I would have to put Braid on the top 10 games on the list (excluding the Zelda titles), that's how good it is...though not on the best 10 games of all time, not even close.

February 27 2016