Published Aug 25, 2008For a designer as dedicated to "experimental gameplay as indie iconoclast Jonathan Blow, its curious that Braid is so reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. But in borrowing Nintendos basics 2D side-scrolling, goombah-esque baddies, piranha plants in green pipes it utterly transforms them, and not just by replacing 8bit graphics and bleep-based melodies with impressionistic watercolours and sad strings. Braids meta is rife with melancholy, putting the stereotypical quest for a kidnapped princess into stark relief. This is a world ruled by causality and shes missing because you messed up. Blow wants you to learn from such mistakes not by re-starting but by rewinding and remembering what went wrong. Worlds are affected differently by this reversal, turning each into an exquisitely complex puzzle. Where Mario was about timing, Braid is about time as it pushes gaming to the next level.