It’s been over three years since developer Jonathan Blow announced his critically acclaimed, time-manipulating platform-puzzler Braid was getting an Anniversary Edition, but, finally, a release is in sight; it’s coming to Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Netflix mobile on April 30th, 2024.
Given that Braid initially launched for Xbox 360 all the way back in August 2008, its Anniversary Edition will be arriving squarely within its 15th birthday year, and a significant amount of work has been done on the original release to celebrate that milestone.
For starters, Braid’s gorgeous visuals have been “hand-repainted” by original artist David Hellman. Today’s press release doesn’t elaborate on that much, but when the Anniversary Edition was announced in 2020, Blow said his Thekla Inc. studio was working on enhanced foregrounds and backgrounds, increased level of detail in certain areas, plus extra animations and effects to improve the feel of movement.
Today’s release date announcement also brings talk of improved sound, alongside new mixes and variants of the original game’s soundtrack by Martin Stig Andersen and Hans Christian Kock. But for the purists in the house, it’ll be possible to toggle back and forth between the original and enhanced versions – and you can see some comparisons between the two in the trailer above.
Perhaps the most intriguing addition in Braid’s Anniversary Edition, however, is a new developer commentary track, which will feature over 15 hours of “thoughts and insights into puzzle design, programming, visual art, math, the history of independent games and many other topics of interest”. Blow says the goal has been to make the “craziest, most-in-depth commentary ever put in a video game”, and it’ll feature on-screen mark-up (circles, arrows, and the like) synced up to the commentary, as well illustrative diagrams, gameplay recordings, and more – with players able to follow related threads through wormholes passing from level to level.
The guest list for the commentary, if you’re curious, is as follows: Jonathan Blow, David Hellman, Marc ten Bosch (Miegakure), Brian Moriarty (Trinity, Loom, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel), Casey Muratori (1935; Handmade Hero; Computer, Enhance!), Cris Moore (gamer, resident faculty at the Santa Fe Institute), Frank Cifaldi (Video Game History Foundation), Martin Stig Andersen, Hans Christian Kock, and Jakob Schmid.
Braid, Anniversary Edition (yes, it’s officially styled with a comma, not a colon) will be available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PC, and mobile via Netflix when it launches on 30th April next year. Mac and Linux releases will follow “at a later date”.