The Bridge (Switch eShop) Review

by September 18, 2017

When I was a kid I went through a phase where I was totally into optical illusions. It started when a bunch of my friends, me included, were looking at a book of Magic Eye puzzles. Just like Willam in Mallrats, I was the only one who couldn’t see the hidden image contained within the stereogram. To this day I still have never seen one and I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing is just a big practical joke on me.

I started reading books about optical illusions, hoping one may contain a secret method, previously unbeknownst to the world, for decoding Magic Eye’s that would work for me. As I read these books, one illusion stood out to me – The Penrose Triangle; an impossible object which physically cannot exist in 3D space. It inspired me to draw my own impossible objects, mostly in MS Paint, because hey, straight line tool. It was a good way to learn a little about perspective. It did not, however, help me in any way to solve the puzzles in The Bridge.

Taking inspiration from these optical illusions and artists such as M.C. Escher (no, not the hottest DJ on the club scene) The Bridge is a puzzle game that is designed to make you think. And when you can’t think, you have to remember to avoid the more-than-likely-misattributed-to-Einstein quote about the definition of insanity:

“…doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

The puzzles in The Bridge are based on the simple premise of navigating the presented scene to an exit door. A task upon first glance, which may appear an impossibility. It’s a good thing the puzzles are set in a world of impossibility. You take control of a simple beardy-man and use either of the joysticks or d-pad buttons (spoilt for choice!) to navigate left and right. Though there’s only so far you can get walking along a horizontal plane. For instance, you may find yourself at a wall. To circumvent this offending obstruction, you use the L and R trigger buttons to rotate the entire world, thus making said wall the new floor and the previously unmentioned floor, the new wall. Heck, if you wanna, you can even use tilt-controls to obtain the same effect.

Sometimes the solution isn’t too obvious and early on you’ll learn that it’s good to experiment. At first, you might not realise a particular piece of the environment can actually be used as a platform, even though from another perspective, looks to be an impossibility. As you progress, new techniques are introduced, and by the end, you need to be familiar with them all.

I thoroughly enjoyed about 90% of The Bridge. The other 10% I found to be a frustratingly annoying, difficult to work out, with impossible to stumble upon solutions to puzzles, that I still had trouble completing while having a Youtube video of the solution running next to me. This is by no means a fault of the developers. The fault purely lies within me, and my inability to work out exactly what was going on in these particular puzzles. Out of the twenty-four base puzzles, I only had this trouble with two.

While the ability to rewind time by holding the B or Y button whenever you make a mistake is a great inclusion for most stages, keep in mind that for the more complex puzzles, you might get stuck in that infinite loop of trying the same thing over and over again without even realising it. You could get to a point in the puzzle where you think everything is hunky dory, but you’ve in fact done something wrong, and when you make a future mistake, you rewind back to that point where you thought everything was A-OK, hence the endless loop. Once again – just like Magic Eye – this could have just been me.

When you have made it through the four collections of puzzles, with or without the help from a stranger on the internet, you get to see a conclusion of sorts to the mini-narrative included. In conjunction with this, you also unlock a new set of mirrored puzzles. Yet, simply being flipped would pose little to no difficulty. That’s why the puzzles are now littered with extra obstacles and implore you to deduce new techniques to be victorious.

The graphical stylings presented throughout are representative of hand-drawn images, as if sketched and then fleshed out with a 2B or maybe an HB pencil. Possibly even a different graphite grade altogether, after all, I don’t really know pencils. Regardless, the look is quite pleasing and is accompanied by a suitable soundtrack, which I found unobtrusive to the puzzles presented within.

Rating 4/5




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The Good

- Challenging puzzles
- Decent curve of introducing new techniques
- Looks pretty

The Bad

- A couple of TOO challenging puzzles

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Final Thoughts

The Bridge is a solid puzzle game that encourages you to look at the world from a new perspective. Though the game was easily completed in a couple of sittings, the difficulty increase and length felt right. A sequel would be welcome.

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Wayne Giovanazzi

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