GIZORAMA - For some reason I equate a good indie puzzler with a bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Stew. The best are hearty and filling, warming your soul with the beef broth of triumph after solving a particularly mind-bending scenario. Whatever the gimmick may be – time bending, perspective shifting, shadow / light mechanics – whatever, serves as the meat, if the meat’s spoiled, no one’s eating anything. The graphical presentation are your veggies. Your potatoes, carrots, dumplings, onions, spices – it is here a good game becomes great, and a great game becomes timeless.
The XBLA port of The Bridge is pretty good stew. Of course, The Bridge isn’t stew at all if it weren’t for Jonathan Blow’s Braid – which if we were to carry this ‘stew’ metaphor on, was made with filet mignon, truffles, and $999.99 an ounce saffron. What I mean by this is that Braid was such a tour-de-force that any indie puzzle game, save Fez, would be hard pressed to escape its shadow even a half decade later.