Braid is deceptively simple in its narrative: boy sees girl, boy tries to rescue girl. But the twist comes at the end of the game where the boy catches the girl and right when they finally meet a bomb explodes and your screen turns bright. Off screen, a voice intones: “Now we are all sons of bitches.” quote that can be directly tied to Kenneth Bainbridge, one of the heads of the Trinity atomic bomb tests.
Braid is a really unique game. Really, really unique. It’s really well thought out. I’ve just recently finished it and it’s so good that it actually makes you think about life, cause and effect, and it makes you ponder all the deep philosophical questions that you wouldn’t normally expect from a platform game.
You start the game as a guy who can manipulate time. So basically it’s a platform where you jump on enemies to solve puzzles, very Mario style. You’re even looking for a princess who is always in another castle. The difference is that since you can manipulate time, you can’t really die. Ever. All you do is rewind the time and correct your mistakes. Easy, right? Not really. Some things don’t change when you rewind, so the puzzles get harder with time.
You get different skills in differet levels, so in the first level you can manipulate time, then in another level time actually moves forward or backwards depending on whether you’re moving left or right. In another level you can make things move slower in a certain area, and in the weirdest one (possibly) you actually get a shadow that does what you did before you reversed time. Confusing? Well after you finish the game you finally find your princess. You try to save her through an incredibly difficult level only to find out that you weren’t saving her from a monster, you actually are the monster.
So after all your time manipulations, you get to the end of the game and you only have one option. You can only watch yourself do something bad to the princess, and watch yourself chase her when she tries to run away from you, because the end of the game is actually the beginning, and all your time manipulations are actually just you thinking about what it would be like if you could correct your mistakes, if you could turn back time, and if you didn’t do those things you did. But there’s nothing you can do about it.