Escher-Pades: The Bridge Demo

By Adam Smith on October 12th, 2011 at 4:58 pm.

the laws of physics are about to be overturned

Last time I wrote about The Bridge, all I’d seen of it was the exquisite little trailer that I felt an immediate compulsion to share. Although I promised to keep my eyes peeled (and I haven’t closed them since), I feared that the actual game might be years away from release, since so little information was available. Thankfully, all of my fears were dispelled when a demo appeared to coincide, more or less, with the game’s appearance at IndieCade. Download it here or read some more brief impressions below.

The trailer reminded me of And Yet It Moves because rotation was involved and my brain sometimes enjoys creating simple connections rather than actually making an effort. Hands-on investigation reveals an experience firmly at the puzzle end of the spectrum, with hardly any platforming at all. You will indeed be in control of a little man and there is even a jump button, but a lot of time is spent maneuvering other objects around the increasingly maze-like levels.

The full version of the game introduces new types of obstacle and interaction on a regular basis and I suspect I’ll be writing more about it once I’m done because so far it’s been a very pleasant surprise. It is extremely slow-paced but my eyes are so pleased by the atmosphere and design of the locations that I expect they’d have something to say if I rushed through without letting them soak in the details. Talking eyes are even more distressing than peeled ones, so I’ll gladly accept the sluggish rate at which the screen rotates and the little mad-haired man shuffles along.

As with Braid, which this resembles structurally if not mechanically, there is a story being told in cryptic fashion and I’m finding myself searching for visual clues to unravel the narrative, which is a very good sign indeed. Beyond the pleasing aesthetics, there is something beautifully suggestive about the visual design.

No release date yet but hopefully soon. Meanwhile, do take a look at the demo.

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22 Comments »

  1. skorpeyon says:

    I was certain there was a mistake… and perhaps there is since I’m at work, on a Mac, and can’t attempt to install the demo right now, but after downloading a 25GB game the other day (Rage) I’m staring at this 463KB file and going “whut?”

  2. skinlo says:

    Nice fix ;)

    I like the look of the screeshot, so I’ll certainly give this a go :)

  3. nobody says:

    Vista/Win7 only? The only other game I’ve seen do that thus far is also an indie game, the moderately disappointing Hamilton’s Great Adventure. Too bad, I was looking forward to this one.

    • TNG says:

      What? Where did you see that? I’m now running the demo on Win XP and haven’t seen anything stating that the full version will be different.
      And I can think of at least another game that went the Vista/Win7 route: Just Cause 2. Fortunately few decided to take the same path.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      It says on the demo download page that Vista or Win 7 is a requirement. Ridiculous.

    • TNG says:

      Oops, time for me to pay a visit to the ophthalmologist =/
      But hey I played it in this PC with Windows XP SP3 so don’t let that stop you

  4. Koozer says:

    Headline of the week right there.

    • gekitsu says:

      if only escher wasnt pronounced “esher” instead of “es-ker” :<
      as cool as the idea is, puns based on ignorance backfire.

    • Koozer says:

      On the other hand gekitsu: it is funny.

    • gekitsu says:

      i dont know – the one thing the title made me think of is how often foreign names and words are mangled by english pronounciation and spelling, and how enerving it is for someone speaking that language. i always associated that a bit more with americans, though, so (even falsely) seeing a case on RPS made it sting even more – that probably accounts for the tone of my response.

      i guess that pun just didnt work for me. i dont even find it funny now :< sorry.
      there will be other ones that will.

    • Wooly Wugga Wugga says:

      Not saying it’s because of igorance (‘coz these RPS blokes are quite clever.) but this is one of those puns that was stretched a little too far to work.

      However, moving on swiftly. Erm, I’ve got nothing.

    • Adam Smith says:

      The gap between appearance and sound amuses me because language is so full of confusions. Opinions will vary, of course, but I solemnly swear never to base a pun on ignorance. That would be deeply unpleasant.

    • bglamb says:

      Strangely, this was my most favorite recent pun. It reminds me of an old limerick I heard.

      There once was a young man called Kodeš,
      Who played Tennis in the Antipodes,
      He made lots of dough,
      But developed a cough,
      And now he’s retired to Rhodes.

  5. manveruppd says:

    Why does almost every indie game with an interesting art aesthetic have to be a platformer? Is there really no other interesting way to interact with beautiful bits of graphical assets than to jump over them? :(

    I’m not being jaded and cynical, I’m just really crap at platformers, so as much as I enjoy the look of games like this I never last very long. Can’t they make turn-based RPGs or point-and-click adventures that look like this, for people with bad reflexes like me?

    • noom says:

      “Hands-on investigation reveals an experience firmly at the puzzle end of the spectrum, with hardly any platforming at all.”

      Looks like you’re in luck ^_^

  6. noom says:

    Played a little of the demo. Seems rather enjoyable. Puzzles so far ramping up from non-existant to mildly head-scratchy. Hope it gets really annoying later on.

  7. Bluerps says:

    It looks really nice. Hope the full game is good too.

  8. bglamb says:

    Reply fail!

  9. adonf says:

    Just in case someone else had this page bookmarked for a while and never got around to downloading the demo: it is no longer available on the main site but I found it here

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