Recent Braid Review and Preview

Chris Dahlen at Save The Robot wrote a highly positive preview of Braid. (The article starts out as a discussion of Jonathan Blow’s recent lecture, but soon moves on to discussing Braid.) Dahlen’s Onion AV Club review of Braid is scheduled to appear next week; it’l be interesting to see what it says.

UK print magazine Edge has published the first review of Braid, giving the game a score of 9/10. Normally I would not be happy about a 9, but Edge has a reputation for being very tough with scores. (Braid was the only game with a score of 9 or above in this issue [#192]; in previous issues, they gave BioShock and Metal Gear Solid 4 each 8/10. Headline coming soon: Edge says Braid is better than MGS4; PS3 fan riot imminent.) I can’t link the review because it’s in print, but here’s the last sentence:

Braid remains a beautiful and brilliantly demanding game that barely contains its dense population of ideas, taking its place alongside Geometry Wars and Pac-Man Championship Edition as one of the finest original titles available on Live Arcade.

The Edge reviewer didn’t like the story much; but Chris Dahlen did. So there.

100 thoughts on “Recent Braid Review and Preview”

  1. wow, a 9 in Edge? That is like an 11 at a lot of places. Congrats. I’ll be recommending your game to friends and getting it myself when it comes out.

  2. I agree with James, a 9 in Edge is almost an honor. Only eight games or so were able to get a 10 in Edge. Congratulations!

  3. I was really looking forward to this but the new confirmed price has put me off a bit, hopefully the trial will persuade me to part with the cash but i think alot of people will think twice about it as it is in the middle of lots of great games for the arcade and is a lower profile release

  4. I find it fairly odd when Jonathan Blow refers to himself in third person.

    Anyway, I was under the impression that most of the staff at Edge who were pretty harsh with the scores have since left, and now the magazine has sort of mellowed out. Getting higher scores than Bioshock and MGS4 is a great achievement either way.

  5. It seems like people would catch on more to 800. Spending (even though there’s a demo) 1200 on something named “Braid” (no offense) and orginal might be a hard move for people to make.

  6. So, Jonathan, I take it from your comment that the devs don’t have much power when it comes to setting XBLA prices? It’s always been rumored/said that the devs ‘consult’ with MS on the pricing, but MS gets the final say. I guess that really is the case.

  7. My feeling was that Microsoft would price the game at 1200 no matter what I said; however, I never pushed them to that point. Late last week, Microsoft and I had a conversation where we talked about a bunch of issues and I agreed on the 1200 point price.

    There are good reasons why I picked 1200 instead of 800 (I thought about writing them up today, but I’m not sure it’s really appropriate; I might, though, tonight. We’ll see how I feel about it later.)

    The Reader’s Digest version is, I would have been perfectly happy with a launch price of 800 points. At 1200 points I am less happy, but I am okay with it.

  8. If you decide it’s appropriate, I think that would be a good read. As a (very) small developer spending several years on one project, your thoughts on how to price your game (and its effect on how many copies you sell) could be quite interesting.

    And similarly, do you have any thoughts on the XBLA pricing dustup that happend recently re: Braid and Castle Crashers? Specifically the fact that Microsoft issued statements denying Braid would be released at 1200 points, but then announced it at 1200 points anyway. It seems to me this may have had a detrimental effect on the reputation of your game (and Castle Crashers, which was also involved in the same report/denial).

  9. I have a lot of thoughts on these things, yes. Still, I don’t know if I will write them up, because I want the conversation to be about the actual game, and not the price. I don’t care about the price. I don’t care about money, except to the extent that it lets me make games.

    When I was thinking today about whether to do the write-up, I realized that all the information that will let people figure out exactly why the game costs 1200 points is all public, and anyone who really cared and thought about it would see the obvious answer. However, people don’t care — they just want to say something grumpy on forums. That’s fine, but I don’t want to participate.

    What I care about long-term is the game itself. People being upset over $5 is a relatively small thing; whatever was said yesterday on forums is as heavy as that discussion is going to get. However, when it comes to the game itself — I hope that at this time tomorrow people will be talking about how it’s interesting, or it’s really fun, or they didn’t find it very fun but they can see how someone else might, etc. 5 years from now, or 10 years from now, I hope people are talking about the game with respect to others in the history of games. That is what I care about.

  10. I have to admit, I am a little concerned about the pricing. It’s not that I’m worried that Braid won’t be worth the money. I just feel like it might be a both a poor financial decision and a hindrance to a goal you said you had.

    First, I feel that there is a large psychological barrier between 800 & 1200 points on arcade, and I can think of only one other arcade game with that price (I’m not including original Xbox games): Penny Arcade’s RPG. The difference between your game and “On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness” is that while you may have buzz, they have long established fans whose love of all things Penny Arcade causes their demand to be highly inelastic. I don’t feel you game is that widely known, and while it is indeed revolutionary, most people don’t tend to be willing to try new things when the cost is higher than average. There will always be innovators and early adopters willing to pay premiums, but they are usually only a small portion of any market.

    My second reason to be concerned is that when I said in another post that I wished you a huge success, you wrote, “the important part is that the game will be out where people can play it.” I think that this will limit your audience and any message (it’s not impossible to make original game mechanics, etc) you may have.

    I really do wish you the best of luck, and I hope I’ve misjudged the games appeal. I’m just slightly skeptical that the 50% increase in price over most arcade games will offset the lesser number of buyers. Sorry for being so negative on the eve of what is the culmination of multi-year effort. I know I’ll be buying the game the second it appears on xbox live, and I hope most other people do.

  11. I’m actually wondering if it won’t work the other way; a lot of the people bitching might never have bothered, but after seeing and hearing about it, more people will try the demo and see if they like it.
    As long as they keep the premium prices to titles that really do go the extra mile, it could well be a way to make a game stand out from the pack.

  12. Yes John, you are correct, and I now know that Lumines and some billiards game are also $15. My point is that even though it may be worth $15, I fear the price point will discourage more people from buying it than it will make up in increased revenue per sales.
    I think from everything I have seen that it is worth that price point, but I’m not sure everyone else will.

  13. Rod — I agree with you, it is a significant risk. However, I had to look at the low end too — I have no idea how many people will buy Braid even at $10 (it is the least popular of the Summer of Arcade games, with the least publicity).

    What I had to guard against is the Space Giraffe problem. Jeff Minter priced Space Giraffe (which is the best game on XBLA) at $5 because he wanted a lot of people to be able to afford it, and really wanted to give something to the fans at a low price. Well, that bit him in the ass because he only sold 19k copies; depending on how big his testing+localization advance was, maybe he has barely made any money from Space Giraffe at all, and just lost a lot of money (due to the time spent in development). I don’t know exactly. I’m pretty sure, though, he didn’t even make back his cost of living.

    If I could ensure my ability to keep making games without publisher interference, and release Braid at $0, I would do that. But I had to guard against the Space Giraffe problem. Like Space Giraffe, Braid is a non-mainstream game, very different from the other things on XBLA, without much publicity. And Jeff Minter had a built-in audience from his previous games, waiting to play SG the minute it came out; Braid doesn’t even have that.

    There is a significant possibility that Braid would have been the next Psychonauts or Beyond Good and Evil (critically acclaimed but nobody played it), even at $10. If that happens at $10 then I am in debt and have to get a job and can’t make games any more. If that happens at $15, maybe I can still make games. That is the difference.

  14. You make some very good points, and I do have to admit, the guys who run xbox live have much data and experience with pricing and marketing of games on their system than I do. I did also forget that if you have an have an inelastic demand, but the overall demand is low, you might as well charge more. I’m going to have to concede to the logic that though it may limit the success, it will also limit the possible loss, which I can’t fault you for taking as a small business.

  15. Yeah. And I am not trying to claim I made the right decision — I have no idea what the right decision was, and we won’t know next week either (since no matter how high or low the sales are, they always could have been only a little higher, or almost as low, at $10).

    And again, I don’t know if I would have been able to convince Microsoft to release the game at 800 points anyway, so it seemed my best move was to make the agreement and keep a good relationship with them.

    If it were just a matter of my own money, I wouldn’t care so much, but I ran out of money while developing Braid and had to borrow a lot — so I owe people a lot of money. That makes the nature of the decision a little different.

  16. Erf, I’m sorry to hear about the financial difficulties, Jonathan. I respect (and am incredibly grateful for) your decision to follow through – I hope it all works out.

    I hear it comes out 2am PST so I will be up for that =)

  17. wow, great discussion going on here. even the best forums (neo-gaf is where i do my reading) don’t take long to degenerate into fanboy bitch fests. great to read a nice discussion on game industry related hot topics where both sides contribute valid points in a courteous manner. even better that one of the people contributing is someone who actually is part of the biz.

    anyway, i myself am now a little less certain i will pick the game up because of the price. that being said it has nothing to do with the quality of the game which seems to be very high or how deserving the creator of the game is (you seem to deserve success for your product both financially and critically). it has to do with me, game length and replayability is something i always take into account before making a purchase, secondly i compare value (albeit perceived value in many cases) to other similar games and with bionic commando at a feature packed 800 points i find myself a little more hesitant than i would of had this been 800.

    that’s my angle 🙂

  18. Well, when push comes to shove, I hope people try Braid and realize it’s great and buy it. Good luck in the financial part of it. The games market NEEDS more good games like Braid. There are some games I generally have some innocent fun with, but there are too many Hannah Montanna (etc.) games.

    At least most people in this forum are here for support (including me).

  19. beelzebubble, I hear ya on the price. All I can say is, try the demo all the way through (you can play pieces of 3 different worlds) and if it seems like it’s worth $15 to you, then, cool. If not… well, hopefully Braid will get price-reduced in the future.

  20. I just watched a video, and it’s interesting. I know I’ll have a blast with the game and all, but just listening to the music and viewing the world is calming. Way to go David and who ever did the score, because it truly draws you in. Is there going to be any way to purchase or download the music in Braid sometime?

  21. The music is all from artists at magnatune.com — you can listen to their stuff for free and download the songs very cheaply.

    There’s a list of songs in the credits of the game… if there’s enough interest after the release I will post it on the site here.

  22. Man 1200 points is going to kill this game. The reason is not because it’s 15 bucks. I’m sure the game is worth it. The problem is MS horrible pricing of their “point packs”. You can not buy just 1200 points for 15 bucks. MS forces you to buy 2000 points for 25 dollars.

    That means regardless of this game only costing 15 dollars people who don’t have MS points right now are either going to have to buy a 25 dollar pack off live or a 25 dollar card in stores.

    You guys would of been much better off pricing it at 1000 MS points because they do offer a option to buy 1000 MS points for 12.50. Can’t see as many people willing to drop 25 bucks because they are forced to pay 25 bucks for 2000 MS points.

  23. Here is the current MS point pack pricing. So the real downside to a 1200 MSP price point is effectively makes your game a 25 dollar purchase. Even if people figure out to buy a 1000 point and a 500 point pack seperately that is still 18.75 and thats if it regesters into people’s heads to actually do that. Most see 1200 MSP, go to buy 1200, see the only option is 2000 points @ 25 bucks and just end up skipping it.

    http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x271/shamrock6699/ScreenHunter_01Aug060045.gif

  24. Yep, I agree, that is kind of sucky. I just hope that people already have some points (leftover from other games) so that they don’t have to invest that much.

    I don’t like the Microsoft Points system; I wish it just worked like the PSN store where you just pay an honest and straightforward amount of money for what you want to buy.

  25. Well I’ll be picking it up tomorrow. Luckily I still have 290 MS points left from my previous purchase so it will only cost me 1000 point pack. However I honestly feel bad about this price point for you because it really is not your fault it MS fault they want developers to charge 1200 MS points and then don’t offer a 1200 point pack.

    I think it would of been a much better situation for you to have just charged 1000 MS points which is 12.50. However it’s my guess MS doesn’t allow that price for games because they want people to have to buy more points then they need. Which in a way is MS greed hurting smaller developers like yourself.

    I wish you good luck on the launch and count me as plus 1 sale 😉

  26. Downloaded the trial this morning, The games awesome, i beat the trial in 20 minutes (lot’s of spent playing the zelda series and other puzzles so i’m good at it.) Can’t say i’ll get the full version though, 15$ for an XBLA game is too much, i blame them. Hope your game does well.

  27. I forgot to write this after my initial post. There’s also an option in the Zune Marketplace to buy 1200 Microsoft points ($15) if your Points balance is 0.

  28. I just don’t get the complaints about paying $15 for a videogame. You’ll spend more than that on a movie and popcorn. Who buys a $300 videogame console and then is hard pressed to come up with $15 for a new game? The economy is in the toilet, to be sure, but that just makes games a better value than ever.

    Plus, Braid is amazing.

  29. I wouldn’t have even thought of buying this game (I didn’t buy Penny Arcade or Geometry Wars, to name other theoretically great XBLA titles) until I saw the Gamasutra art feature and the Eurogamer review. Now I am definitely going to spend $15 on it.

    Now that I’ve read some of the blog, I feel better knowing that I’m supporting indie game developers too 😉

  30. “I wish it just worked like the PSN store where you just pay an honest and straightforward amount of money for what you want to buy.”

    Everybody does, but they won’t, because, as a World of Goo developer recently explains at Gamasutra, that would mean MS has to pay YOU (and every other XBLA studios) with both USD and EUR.
    And of course, they will loose all the extra money they currently make with the USD/EUR exchange rate.

    Anyway, your game is great and I’m buying it (despite having to pay extra MS points).

  31. I also agree that Space Giraffe is the best game on XBLA (haven’t played yours yet Jon, but purchased it this morning). It pains me to read Jeff Minter’s blog on how SG got outsold by Rootbeer Tapper or something like that, knowing there’s nothing I can do about it. I couldn’t even buy multiple copies if I wanted too. 🙁

    I really hope the game does well. Looking forward to putting some time into it tonight.

  32. Hey Jonathan,

    I’d be real interested in hearing how Braid does on XBLA at the $15 price point. We’re launching in early Sept. at, I believe, 800 points.

    I’ve always been told that 800 points is the sweet spot for XBLA titles but I’m hoping after this month we start to see higher priced, higher quality games.

    Anyways, congrats on releasing Braid and you have my $1-err 1200 points. 🙂

  33. Johnathan –

    Great game with some amazing art. I am glad to pay 1200 points for this one. Sure, 800 would have been nice but the price difference isn’t going to kill me.

    Keep up the good work.

  34. I think that most of the griping is due to the virtual nature of the purchase. If Braid was available on disc @ $15, there’d be less value concerns. People still cannot get over the purchase of goods without a physical return. Even I admit to not being 100% comfortable with virtual transactions, even though I know my concerns are stupid.

    On the uneven points issue, the 360’s target crowd really doesn’t mind the leftover points, I like having a few kicking around for spur-of-the-moment Rock Band track purchases, or other additional content for the games I play, without having to go out and get a card (Gamestop is closed at 2am) or dig out my credit card.

    To be honest, I’m not really the ideal XBLA gamer, as I really haven’t had the slightest interest in any of the games produced thus far. Even Penny Arcade is not big enough to sway me. I like discs… and probably always will. How can you lend someone your data to try it out? Yeah, there’s demos, but not all of us really want to buy the game. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve dug out old copies of games to lend or give to friends. That’s another pitfall of virtual purchases… in the future, they will be worthless.

    I sincerely hope the hoopla surrounding this game makes it successful. You know the adage… any publicity is exploitable. I don’t fault MS for wielding the pricing gun with authoritaaay, this is a business after all. I know that I for one will at least try the demo as a result of a Joystiq post about this comment thread.

  35. Well, I was going to pass on this, initially, and wait for an eventual price-drop. But, this discussion has made me go ahead and pony up the money. $15 isn’t a lot of money, really. It just seems like it is compared to the rest of Live. That’s another problem.

  36. I’m not sure the Space Giraffe argument holds too much water here. This game is leaps and bounds better than SG and definitely has a wider appeal. So the Jeff Minter dangers aren’t going to happen to you Jonathon. But the opposite just might. I will buy this game for 800, but I’m not going to at 1200. It sucks because it’s no skin off of MS’s back, but hits Jonathon in the pocket. This is a fantastic game and I look forward to a price drop as you will get my dollars for sure.

    @ John Scott Tynes: Some of us like myself own 40 or so arcade games and I buy around 2 retail games a month. So these 15 dollar games would start to add up. And based upon anecdotal evidence, I spend a lot more money on my 360 than the average person. Anyhow, it’s not that I can’t afford it but it’s rather, the principle behind it. I don’t want this to be a trend with arcade games. And video games are my main entertainment. It pains me to spend 10 bucks to see an evening showing of a movie because for the same price I can get and arcade game that will give me more than 2 hours of enjoyment. And yes, Braid is amazing.

  37. First, Correct me if I’m wrong… but doesn’t MS get a % for royalties? So for them, if they believe a game could be a cult classic or big hit (Penny Arcade is an obvious one).. they make more from 30% of 12$ than 30% of $8.
    Second, it’s their store. A developer uses their software/distribution/servers, etc… to distribute their game to a closed Xbox 360 market. Plus, they do market the game… even if its as small as Major Nelson announcing when a game is on XBLA.
    So, MS has every right to dictate the selling price. Walmart, Target, Best Buy all do that too. Sony doesn’t tell Best Buy what to sell a TV for…they charge Best Buy an amount…then Best Buy puts their price on it.
    In general, I have always been confused with the whole XBLA bashing on prices. I have yet to hear one developer cry that MS is pricing their game TOO LOW. I am glad developers getmore $$$ for their work.
    And in contrast, most “casual” games on the PC cost around $19.99. Bejeweled 2 is $19.99
    Jonathan, I have been looking forward to your game for a long time, I have seen screenshots and movies and it’s a must buy for me. I will gladly support you and hope you continue to develop unique games in the future!

  38. Jonathan,

    Do you have any idea why Microsoft chose Braid to be part of their Summer of Arcade promotion? The promo is a bad idea the first place, with so many good games in such a short amount of time. Did you have a choice of whether or not Braid will be part of the promo? As a relatively expensive and unknown game released between two $10 games expected to do well (GW2 with established fan base and BC:R with much hype), it seems like financial suicide.

    With Microsoft increasing the XBLA point limit and the appearance of more 1200 point games, it seems like their ultimate goal is to make XBLA cost more. This would make the 1200 pt XBOX Originals more attractive (nearly pure profit for MS, I presume), and also create more breathing room for their XNA prices. As gamers have been weaned on mostly 800 arcade titles for three years, this is a period of great change for them. A great game like Braid being caught in this transition is very unfortunate.

    I hope that your financial troubles will be quickly remedied with Braid’s success, so that it may be accessible to even more people. It’d help with the transition.

  39. “If not… well, hopefully Braid will get price-reduced in the future.”

    Personally, I intend to download Braid at my soonest possible convenience. I purchased forty dollars worth of points last week prior to the whole pricing debacle in preparation. But I was wondering about your take on the likelihood of such a price drop and what say, if any, you would have in the matter. Apart from overly publicized reductions on relatively poorly reviewed XBLA games, it seems to me that this prictice, common for full production value titles, occurs all too rarely on XBLA.

    Your game definitely appears to be a bit of a niche title, and price reduction is the most common form of price discrimination used in this market. The Greatest Hits system is immensely popular. It seems odd to me for Arcade not to avail itself of these same profit-maximizing practices. Your thoughts?

  40. Even with my time being short, I’m buying this game. This is a tough industry to crack and I love seeing great works by folks that put their heart and soul into it. The two things I can do to support then … offer kind words of congratulations, and pay for their works.

    In part, it is because I know what it is like to strike out on your own as a developer and make hard decisions. So I hope others can do what I can, and support Jonathan in his future works by paying for his current one.

    Great game Johnathan.

  41. I’ve been looking forward to this game and it did not disappoint. I’m happy to give you $15 if these types of games continue to be made.

  42. Great discussion! I just wanted to weigh in on the pricing issue. I have no problem with this game being $15 and am fine paying that amount (and will once I’m off work today). I personally crave original games with interesting design/gameplay mechanics and paying $15 to support the kind of people who make those games is a very small price.

    I’m also excited that there are now more avenues for games like Braid to be released that have the opportunity to reach more people than ever before.

  43. I just thought I’d pop in to let you know if not for the pricing controversy I wouldn’t have even heard of this game.

    “Any publicity is good publicity” applies.

  44. i played this game on my 360 i love it but i don’t downloadable games on my 360 . would love for u guys to make this game on the psn would u guys ever think about making it for the psn?i buy game a lot of game on the psn. i have 15 game on the ps3 that are from the psn.this game would go perfect with the store style of new content and great game play.please think about porting it to the psn i would buy its in an instance!!!!!! i hope i get answer back

  45. Hey Jonathan,

    I just thought I would drop in and say that the game is absolutely fantastic. It’s a very creative and unique entry onto the XBLA. I bought it about 20 minutes ago, and am loving it thus far.

    I also would like to say that your honesty regarding the price point was a heavy factor in me deciding to purchase the game. I, like many others, would probably have preferred the game to be at the 800 point area, but after reading your comments I was more than willing to support you with this game.

    I’m looking at it like this “I’m paying $10 for the game, and making a $5 donation for more creative XBLA games.”

    Congratulations on the release of a wonderful game.

    Gamertag: bigC24

  46. Jonathan,

    Just played through most of the first world. Only have two more puzzle pieces to go and I’m scratching my head already. 🙂
    FANTASTIC game. It did not disappoint and can’t wait to get back to it later tonight for more.
    Thanks for a truly innovative “work of art” video game. I will highly recommend it to others.

  47. Well i got Braid today, I personally think it is worth the 1200 points MS are asking, so far I have found it a delightful, challenging fun game. It is one of the best games i have played this year.
    It has really great graphics and sound and is just a real fun piece of software. I suggest that if you haven’t got the game then grab it, you will enjoy it.
    Well done to Jonathan I really hope that you can continue to make great fun games. I wish you all the luck for the future.

  48. Jonathan, I wish you all the best with Braid. From what I’ve read, it’s a very good game (one of the best that XBLA has to offer). Unfortunately, I’d have to count myself as one of those people in the “would have bought it if it was 800 points” camp. It’s not that I doubt the game is good, it’s just that I have a hard time getting over the mental “value barriers” that I’ve set up for myself in my head. In general I find that MS seems to price things about $5 more than I perceive its value to be (e.g. I’d pay $5 for Geometry Wars 2, $10 for Braid, etc). That said, your comments about Space Giraffe have made me decide that I need to check it out.

    Anyway, I really appreciate your efforts to bring something new and creative to the marketplace. I just think that it’s unfortunate that Microsoft has to use games like yours as the “pricing guinea pig” to test the market and gauge how much they can squeeze out of 360 owners. And while I truly hope that you are able to do more than just break even, I also hope that MS gets the message that they’re setting these prices too high.

  49. I gave the demo a go, why is this game getting such high review scores? Are these the same people who gave GTA a 10 i wonder? The quality of this game is what i woudl expect to be coming out of the “Community” game development initiative that’ll be launching this fall and those games will cost a couple a bucks. This game is sad on so many levels and the price point is a joke.

  50. For anyone for whom gaming is a serious pastime five dollars is not going to put this over some budgetary line for them, particularly if the game is as innovative and good as I’ve been hearing. If your game faces any problem it exposure rather than price. I’m guessing it rarely gets seen or discussed outside of the gaming blogs. Hopefully Microsoft will help the game get some wider exposure. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that a version comes to the Wii or the PC at some point.

  51. I completed the Braid demo today and I loved it, I thought the puzzles were very clever indeed. The 1200 price point for me is a very tough choice, is it worth $15? Absolutely from the demo I played and whilst i wouldn’t mind $15 it’s not $15 for me, it’s more because I live over in Europe where 1200 points equals roughly $20.

    I want to congratulate you on a great game, I also would of picked it up for 800 without hesitation, or for 1200 if our MS points were “equal”.

  52. @ Jonathan Blow,

    I have bought your game on XBLA and I have to say, it’s a work of true genius. ‘Braid’ is one of the few games out there that really gets under your skin. The 2D-platform hommage, the adorable and beautiful graphics and the simplicity of the gameplay are all exposed in this ‘puzzler’ full of rich texture. I guess this is just my way of saying… congratulations to you and your team, sir! It makes the future a bit more hopeful to know that there are still developers out there who aren’t afraid of pushing the envelope and think outside of the box. Seriously, thank you for ‘Braid’.

    Steven.

  53. What a great game! It’s definitely worth the money and I encourage all to buy it and support the indie side of the gaming industry. I have to say this game appealed to my wife and she was quickly drawn in to the puzzle elements and mechanics of this game. Keep up the good work!

  54. So what are “good” sales for an XBLA game, on average? Clearly it’s not such an easy question, but the Braid leaderboards… it’s only been out for about eighteen hours, and there are a lot of people on there.

  55. Its a true breath of fresh air, and i love it. Fiendish in the best possible way and thank God for some cerebral gaming again. Against the marketing crush of some many average over hyped crap, this is a lovely old school (reminded me in parts of Harlequin on my beloved Amiga) and genuinely different game and experience. Well done Jonathan and i really am looking forward to your future games.

  56. I just wanted to say that yesterday I purchased Braid on XBLA, and I couldn’t do nothing more but love the game.
    That game has surprised and wow me more than Portal did. Some of the gameplay puzzles are simply genious. I’m a videogame designer too, and the whole game is so fresh, addictive, surprising and charming, that has directly gone into my reference game list; and Jonathan, you’ve become one of my favorite game designers :).
    Absolutely recommended. Worth every single penny spent. A must play for anyone who likes games.
    I wish you all the best with this game. You deserve it.

  57. I have nothing to contribute to the pricing debate, I just want to say well done to the guys who made Braid for making me swear, laugh, cry and smile at a game for the first time in ages.

    Can’t wait ’til I get all the jigsaw pieces 🙂

  58. I tried to find this information somewhere, but could not, so I’m hoping someone can confirm or deny for me (as I’m sure John is probably very busy feeling good about the posotive reviews of his new game):

    Is it ever gonna come out on PSN???

  59. Oh, and about the stupid pricing issue. There’s always the possiblity that people will see the two bigger name games prices at 10 bucks, and then see this game they don’t know about for 15 released at the same time, and think wow, this guy’s more expensive, it must be good…

  60. A few points if I may.

    1 – Space Giraffe is not the best game on XBLA, its not in the top 25 games on XBLA.

    2 – Braid is a fantastic game, intelligently put together, great to look at, and just overall a ton of fun.

    3 – Thing is, Ikaruga is fantastic, good looking and fun, as is Assault Heroes 2, and N+, etc, etc. I’m just not sure why I’m paying 1200pts to enjoy Braid, and 800pts to enjoy those other games. Braid is a very, very good 800pt game that costs 1200pts.

    4 – If Microsoft have the cheek to price an appalling, insulting mess like Double D Dodgeball at 800pts, then it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest they can slap a 1200pt price tag on a quality game like this. Doesn’t make it right though.

    5 – Bionic Commando Rearmed will be fun, great to look at and great to play as well, I’m sure, and it is 800pts. All comes down to the following – 1200pts isn’t the end of the world, but WHY am I paying 1200pts? 800 for the game and 400 because MS assume they can get away with squeezing a bit extra out of their loyal and obviously unappreciated customers?

  61. Mister Blow,

    Thank you for an absolutely fabulous gaming experience. Braid harkens back to some of my favourite games from the past without being a retro-pastiche. The visual aesthetic is dazzling, and the sound design is also note-perfect.

    It is worth twice the price charged, meritoriously speaking.

    Bravo to you and all involved.

  62. I first saw the Braid screen caps and though “just another dumb XBLA game” — there are loads of them, see Happy Tree Friends for a recent example. Then I started reading about it and saw some video. I love platformers. I love games that play with time. I had decided yesterday I would play the demo and was 95% sure I would buy it. I played the demo, loved it. I bought the game. Played world 3 (2nd level) and my mind melted (just a bit). I love Briad. Easily worth the $15. Just think about it… you pay $11 for a movie which may turn out to be mediocre, $11 for soda and popcorn. Another $11 if you brought your wife. Or I can pay $15 for Braid, have my wife help me solve the crazy puzzles and pay $1 for the popcorn and soda at home. A movie is maybe 2 hours of entertainment for that $33, for the $16 I can easily get 6-8 hours? More? Which is a better deal? I don’t generally play multiplayer online games, so for me Halo3 was $60 for a 10 hours experience. This is $15 for a similar length experience (well, I would argue Briad is more fun because it makes me think outside the box so much more – I love puzzles and platforms). You can check my website, I blogged about how much I love Braid.

  63. So I’m reading the comments, thinking “holy crap, how many indie games get these kinds of rave reviews from players”, and have to ask: when will you be doing a Wii port?

    🙂

  64. The problem with Space Giraffe is that Jeff’s gotten terribly indulged in his old age by a sycophantic coterie of supporters, and put out a game with an inadequate tutorial that also happened to be incredibly visually offputting if you weren’t already familiar with his work – people were simply overwhelmed, and the tutorial did nothing to help them. There also wasn’t a “beginner” mode with all the psychedelic graphics switched off to help people get a feel for the game mechanics before they tackled the whole firework show.

    I’m sure a lot of people DID buy it anyway because it was so cheap, which would balance out all his existing fans who would happily have paid 800 or 1200, but the simple fact is that as completely brilliant as the game is, it’s simply way out of the average XBLA user’s comfort zone. I doubt the (unjustly) terrible early reviews helped either, nor Jeff stomping around the internet in a giant huff afterwards.

    Braid’s price HAS put me off it, I’m afraid. It’s not so much the extra $5 as the extra hassle of having to buy another block of MS points, and – perhaps more pertinently – the implied arrogance. There are a lot of superb games on XBLA at 800 and 400 points, and it just rubs people up the wrong way when something comes out and says “I’m way better than those”. Lumines got a similar reaction, and Bankshot Billiards has finally been reduced to a more sensible price after years of being mocked.

    I played the entire demo and collected every collectable jigsaw piece, but there’s not enough there to convincingly justify being as good as, say, Space Giraffe and Geometry Wars 2 put together. Or Jetpac Refuelled and Ikaruga. Or Omega V and Robotron, or Gripshift and… well, you get the idea. See you when the price comes down.

  65. After spending hundreds of dollars of money on xbox live arcade in the past and the mediocre assortment that has been brought out all year with the exception of GW2, I don’t see how MS feels the need to overcharge. It seems clear to me that the overwhelming majority of gamers on XBOX Live have a negative opinion on the price points of this game and castle crashers. It seems like you would at least apologize for the mistake of having a press statement to loyal Xbox live members about how the leak of the 1200 ms points being false. Why do you have no remorse?Major Nelson should be explaining why we were feed a lie and instead offers us a invite to try the demo and see why it’s worth therefore neglecting the truth that the wool was pulled over our eyes. MAJOR FAILURE in my book. How about you don’t mock the intelligence of your fan base and give us an straight forward apology seeing as how you are the P.R. man for the whole team. I can only imagine your too busy counting the extra money in your wallets to not address an issue that is making the community grow cold and numb to their poor marketing decisions. You don’t set the expectation bar so high for a game and then lie about them to your core audience of paying, Xbox live fans and expect no recourse from your dying legions of dissapointed fans. I grow ill with this and you will not be getting another dime from me untill you learn how to approach us as people and man up to the big mistakes (no spring update) instead of curling up in a corner of greed and Hypocrisy. Get real.

  66. Great game Jonathan. Finished it earlier today after playing it nonstop since last night (with a smidgen of sleep inbetween). Finally got every last puzzle piece and boy was that satisfying! For those worried about length I must have clocked up about 6 hours or so. Thats more than I’ve spent with any other Xbox Live Arcade game except for N+, Castlevania and (possibly) Geometry Wars 2. I’ll still go back to it for the speed runs, so it’ll last even longer thanks to them. Also to try and make my own meaning from the story. I agree wholeheartedly with eurogamer’s review, reflecting at the beginning of each world at certain points/relationships in life. I think the only other time I’ve done that in a game is at the end of Silent Hill 2 (bad ending) and a little game called Passage.

    For those moaning about the price – there are certain websites (just google: microsoft points now) which let you purchase Microsoft points for almost 1:1 compared with euros (I’m european) via email so for me the game cost €12.35. Which is cheaper than a cinema ticket and popcorn plus at least twice as long! =D

    That also works out at £9.56 sterling.

    I’d still much rather the game went the Bionic Commando route where they (being Capcom or Microsoft or both) listened to the opinions of the fans and priced it at 800 after discussing it on the Bionic Commando website, but Braid itself is great. And the quality of the game is what should matter in the end.

    As for the Jeff Minter pricing talk – I thought Space Giraffe was pants. I didn’t even realize it was only 400 points but that won’t sway me. It’s no Sheep in Space that’s for sure!

  67. And regarding Space Giraffe… While I wouldn’t dog it as hard as some of the reviews, I would say it was NOT my cup of tea. I LOVED Tempest – if I were to buy an arcade console it would probably be Tempest, but without a radial controller it just didn’t have a chance. I found it to be unplayable with the 360 controller and wouldn’t have played it past the demo even if it was free. Oh well, I really WANTED to like Space Giraffe but the controls killed it. Happily, the controls for Braid are great. It is odd that I cannot jump off a ladder (just “drop” off), but the Braid is just a great game. Thanks!

  68. Space Giraffe was poop [granted, I don’t own it, only played the demo for an hour, and there’s some people who love it …] But … reviews for this game have been so positive that while I was going to wait a long time for it to get price-reduced, I don’t think I can. Congratulations on making a great game [in reviews, I still haven’t bought it], and hopefully the price thing works out.

  69. Downloaded the demo without knowing anything about it. Thought it would be instantly forgettable and waste a few minutes of my time.

    Got sucked in, showed it to my girlfriend and she forced me to buy it on the same evening.

    Fantastic game – thought it was a bit pricey but such a relief to get something unique and original.

    Good to find a game which is mentally challenging and fun!

  70. Not to sound like a dick, but I am wary of folks who ask for games to be transfered to the 360 or PS3 or vice versa. Microsoft invested tons of money and resource to get a game like Braid’s caliber on their system first.

    Which means they want you to invest in their system to play this masterpiece. Quit begging and quite being stubborn, buy a 360.

    Same goes for gamers who want MSG4, save some money buy a PS3.

  71. I’m glad that you answer your omments section. I just want to know if you are thinking about releasing this game on PC soon, either offering it on your website or on Steam. It seems like a great game, but sadly I don’t have the funds for a 360 yet.

  72. I have played the demo, it’s an awesome game. I’ll probably buy it within the next week.

    I got to ask though, Space Giraffe the best game on XBLA? what are you smoking? It’s more like he had no choice but to sell at 400. That’s 5 bucks better spent if you think of it as a screensaver.

    Congratulations on braid though, it is an amazing game, and I will buy it.

    Will Microsoft let you make a ps3 version? I know the way ps3 owners are man, they’re mental. They’ll call your game crap as long as it’s 360 exclusive, then when there’s a ps3 version they’ll say it’s the best game ever(and buy it). Let it sink in for a month or 2, then drop it on the PSN, you’ll make a lot more money that way.

  73. Well Shawn, I’m a PS3 owner and I can honestly say that this is a great game… even though you can only get it on the Xbox360. 🙂
    Not every PS3 owner is mental, mind you (alas, they do exist) 😉

    I’ve followed Jonathan’s work for these last couple of years, way before the time he announced it would be released on the MS console.

    I would love to support his work on the PS3 (and I still hope I will be able to do it in the future).
    As it stands (I don’t have a Xbox360, nor am I thinking of getting one… for many reasons), I can only keep cheering Jonathan for his dedication and vision.

    Abraço,
    Nuno

  74. Count me in as well.. I would love to play Braid on ps3. I don’t have a Xbox 360 and don’t plan on getting one, so my only hope is for a ps3 release..

  75. Jonathan, may you be making games for many, MANY years to come.
    Braid is an out-and-out work of genius, and my only wish is that more developers had your vision and talent.
    Congratulations on a Eurogamer 10/10 btw, while numbers in reviews are meaningless to the initiated, I’m sure that it will do you many favours from a notably harsh review team.
    Keep up the good work.

  76. Yeah, Braid is better than MGS4. Not MGS1 or 3 though. 😉

    So, how’s those talks with Sony going? I want Braid on my PS3 and PSP!

  77. Jonathan you have created (in my opinion) the best game i have ever played, i downloaded this the day it was released and i was absolutely blown away. This game is worth 1200 points for the depth and ingenuity of the story alone, i don’t want to sound like a fan boy but i feel i have to show my appreciation for such an amazing acomplishment. you are a genius and becomming widely known as an artist rather than a developer. please release all your future games on xbox 360.

    btw if this was 800 points i would have downloaded it twice lol

  78. This is the only game my girlfriend will allow me to play in her presence. She studies art (painting) in Edinburgh and absolutely loves the design in Braid.

    She also kept me up till 3am trying to figure out how to get those two cheeky puzzle pieces in World 2.

    Thanks for the good times- I hope it’s a success.

    Craig

  79. Hi Jonathan. I hope this message gets to you. Could you just point me in the direction of your development of some of the time control in Braid? I’ve found lots of hacks for it, but Braid seems to be the most successful implementation I’ve found, and I was wondering which method you used for the time implementation.

    Thank you,
    Will

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