The Bridge | Switch Review

The Bridge on the Nintendo Switch is great. Now that I have given my opinion of the game I need to get a bit of wordplay off my chest so we can all get on with our lives. The Bridge builds the bridge between the creative worlds of Escher and portability on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, I vomited too.

The Bridge, by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild(!) was the first eShop title I bought having seen a trailer and zero reviews. I did, of course, read them later but I just liked the premise immediately. Very much like the artwork by the genius M.C. Escher, The Bridge is a series of puzzles that play on illusion via ways of geometry tricks.

The Bridge - The Loft, one of the first puzzles

The bridge made of tweed

The goal is to navigate the protagonist, a professor of sorts (because he has a beard and wears tweed), through a door on each level. It’s not a typical platform game however as you use a mixture of gravity and physics to literally rotate the level around (using either the shoulder buttons or with motion controls), causing him to drop down to areas below or even above. You do not have any direct control of the character either as you can’t move him in the conventional way of jumping or simple left and rights. He’s more like a chess piece that slides along as you rotate the platforms, though he does animate when sliding – he’s not completely motionless.

I believe there are something like 24 levels. Each one gets progressively more difficult from the early stages which just relies on the player rotating the levels accordingly. Later there are some obstacles such as enemies to evade. They don’t chase you around like a ghost in Pac-Man but sliding your character around only to fall right in the path of said baddie can be quite tricky. Even further down the line are some different approaches to the game where you need to move objects to progress. It is all done completely at your leisure and no need for haste as you can simply undo your error – explained in a moment – but it doesn’t necessarily solve your error.

The Bridge - Menacing ball looking to block the path

Bridging the gap of witty headlines

If you lack patience and want something fast-moving then The Bridge may not be for you. There are times when the puzzles shift into a series of trial and error frustration set-pieces. Enemies that move with the rotation of the map can be infuriating but it’s all done a dream-like fashion. As frustrating as it is, it doesn’t feel frantic. And that’s the point right? The Bridge is a lucid dream of puzzles. The story is more of an after-touch and not something that drives the game forward.

Time isn’t an issue here. Take as long as you choose. Work out the best way forward through trial and error at your leisure. If you rotate the stage too much or keep clipping the enemies, simply rewind your action. The rewind function isn’t a simple replay feature but can be used to beat each challenge at the press of a button. At your own pace.

The Bridge - The Spiral level

A 360º nod to M.C. Escher

Visually, as most reviews tend to focus on, it’s stunning. Recalling the comparison to Escher’s designs, the actual models are similar in that they look hand-drawn. Not necessarily by Escher himself but certainly as an influence. Different in design, I prefer this style more than Jotun and best of all, it works. The palette is literally very different: The Bridge is bleak with its black and white tones while Jotun is vivid. With a hint of melancholy and mature (ish) themes, The Bridge feels much more immersive and a joy to experience.

The Bridge is another slow burner that I very much enjoyed. Similar to the calming pace of Type:Rider but also not without its difficult moments. It isn’t a Switch exclusive but the handheld mode works really well. This is a game of feeling, not without flaws, but the feeling is a good one.

The Bridge - The hallway that leads to each level