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Braid, a work of art - and the latest trend in gaming

Written by on August 28, 2008

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Braid is a new game on XBOX Live Marketplace. It was something I bought because I was bored, but I was completely blown away. It is fabulous.

The thing that caught my attention was, at first, not the game itself. It looks like a pretty basic platform game. I was impressed by the artistic graphics in the background. It is layers upon layers of artistic artwork that moves independently as you move around. And on top of that, there are a number of extra lighting effects and subtle animations. The background looks so good that you get annoyed by the foreground platforms.

Try it, if you got an XBOX. You need to see the animations to get a feel for the visual effects.

What makes it even better is the incredible soundtrack. It has none of that techno or rock music junk that most other arcade games feature. It features quiet emotional tunes (Soundtrack here).

The game is, at first, pretty basic. I am not really into these platform games. But it does have an interesting twist. Many new games explore how we perceive reality. The game Fez explored how we could use 2D and 3D to challenge how we deal with the world.

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Braid is all about the concepts of time. You cannot just go from one place to another, you need to manipulate time, explore parallel universes, freeze or rewind time in ways that are not physically possible.

Giant Bomb has created a great 3 minute review:

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Forget about the physical limitations

This is a part of a larger trend that combines physical possibilities in ways that are not physically possible. Things like modifying time, dimensions, big and small, and using opposites to your advantage.

And it is not just for games. These concepts are also moving into the business world of productivity applications. It allows us to present highly complex things in a simple form.

Forget about the structured path, where each thing is preceded by another. This allows you to work organically.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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