Indie developer the Quantum Astrophysicists Guild's black & white puzzler The Bridge is due out on XBLA on 13th November.
The cloying grasp of formula doesn't just tangle up the big bloaty blockbusters at the high profile end of the gaming spectrum. Even humble indies can be just as susceptible to cliché, as this charming but slight physics puzzler demonstrates. Originally developed as a student project in 2011, but only now finding commercial release, The Bridge is clearly a game created in the shadow of Braid.
Just as indie movies showcase their free-spirited credentials with scratchy "hand drawn" posters and opening titles, so The Bridge adopts a black and white pencil sketch aesthetic that flickers and twitches with each frame. It's eye-catching and nicely presented, but also predictable - as if someone had set the graphics dial to a default "indie game" setting.
The game opens with snores. They're coming from our mysterious hero, a bookish fellow who has fallen asleep under an apple tree. Straight away we're introduced to the game's key mechanic: the ability to tilt the world. After rocking the scenery back and forth a few times, an obligingly Newtonian apple hits our hero on the head and wakes him up. From there, he's guided to his house where three doorways await. Behind each door lies a corridor containing six further doors, each leading to a level.