Games have been finding inspiration from other art forms for a long time. This is anything from dragging creatures from mythology, or just taking a character like Sherlock Holmes and tossing him into his own adventure game. In this case, The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild brings us a puzzle game inspired by M.C. Escher paintings in The Bridge.
The controls are simple, with the only options to move left and right. The main mechanic is being able to turn the world to navigate the maze like levels and roll objects around the level. You also have a rewind button to help correct any mistakes. The main draw of this game is the level design, based on the idea of how M.C. Escher twisted reality in his designs. The levels are twisting and turning in on themselves.
As it is based on paintings, the art style is very well done. The hand drawn look adds a lot of flair to the game. the levels look like they could be an incomprehensible mess in such a way that they are a fun challenge to overcome. The music is passable, with nothing truly noteworthy, but definitely not a hindrance to the game.
A small complaint I have is in the story. There is very little, but the developers still make an attempt at making it meaningful. They try to do this through cryptic quotes and short blurbs. These end up feeling pretentious, like they are hiding more important ideas behind their vague phrases. Instead of making it seem deep and mysterious the just end up bland and forgettable.
While nice to look at, the game itself is not that in-depth. The puzzles are pretty easy to solve. The levels don’t capitalize on their inspiration, and what could have been an interesting, reality bending, brain blaster, we end up with a fairly standard set of puzzles. The hardest puzzle was the final one, and even still I beat the game in under two hours.
That is probably my biggest complaint, it is so dang short. There are only four rooms with six puzzles each. Their is an additional mirror mode after you complete the game that tosses in some new challenges, but it still adds very little. The game has a solid ground work, but with so few levels, it feels like the developers didn’t realize what they had. The levels designs are simply, but smartly ordered, and a longer game would have given the opportunity for many unique designs.
The Bridge had a lot of potential with the clever idea, but the poor execution left me filling wanting. The uninspired puzzle design negates some of the compelling problem solving mechanics that they make available. Puzzle enthusiasts may give it a look, or those who really love M.C. Escher. Maybe we’ll see a sequel at some point.
Summary: A pretty game with simplistic puzzles that leaves you feeling unfulfilled.
Verdict: 5 out of 10
Review by Todd Naevestad