Bridge Constructor, is a game about, well, constructing bridges. It’s a simple idea that has been done before, but developer Headup Games managed to take this basic concept and turn it into an interesting little simulation game. Bridge Constructor first began as an iOS game, before making its way to Steam and eventually to the Xbox One. It’s not hard to believe this due to the games simple design and aesthetics.
Your only objective in the game is to build bridges to help support the weight of different vehicles get across from one end to the other. You can access to a variety of materials to help you create your bridges like wood, metal pillars, and steel cables. However, you are limited to a certain budget. Given that each material costs a certain amount, the challenge comes from building a bridge that can support itself, as well as weight of the cars and trucks while staying under the given budget. The concept is simple enough, but this simple task can seem quite daunting in the later levels where you have to construct bridges around certain obstacles like hills or at an incline.
Bridge Constructor: Xbox One [Reviewed] , PC, iOS
Developer: Clockstone STUDIO
Publisher: Headup Games
Release Date: 21 August 2015
Price: £7.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
The simulation in Bridge Constructor seems quite realistic. The various forces acting upon the bridge (like the force of gravity, tension between two connecting pieces, force of the vehicles that move across the bridge, etc.) are all calculated in the game in a realistic manner. You don’t need an advanced physics degree to play this game however; as it does a good job of showing you exactly which points your bridge is most under stress as the vehicles roll through. Knowing this, you can simply go back and try to figure out a way to increase support in that area or change your bridge structure entirely.
Despite being on the Xbox One, Bridge Constructor still looks and feels like a phone game. The backgrounds aren’t very detailed and look a bit plain. The same could be said about the bridges themselves, as well as the vehicles that cross them. The act of building the bridges was obviously made for a touch screen, but still works well for controllers even if it is hard to place it exactly where you want it to sometimes. The bridges creek and rumble realistically as it tries to support the weight of the cars as they roll across, but outside of that there isn’t much to the sounds either. There is no music whatsoever, which is almost unforgivable for any modern game.
It’s always satisfying seeing the vehicles make their way safely to the end of your oddly shaped bridge, but it’s equally frustrating whenever you spend 10 minutes on a bridge that ends up inexplicably collapsing on itself, and you’re spending more time looking at each part carefully to make sure it’s all connected properly. Some of the stages in the latter half can be quite difficult as well, due to oddly placed anchor support points or budget restrictions. While the game does a good job of making each next level feel different from the previous, and encourages players to build different kinds of bridges (instead of having them rely on the tried and true same bridge to coast through the game), most solutions involve simply adding more triangles to help support the weight wherever you can.
Bridge Constructor works great as a bridge building physics-based simulation game. However, as a game it lacks in several areas. The tutorial gives little explanation or demonstration on how to properly build solid bridges, and they didn’t do much of a job upgrading the UI from the original iOS/PC versions of the game, making everything confusing to navigate through at the beginning. There isn’t much room for creativity in your bridges in the later levels of the game, making each successful attempt less meaningful and feel more repetitive by the end. Thus, it’s hard to recommend this for anyone who isn’t a bridge enthusiast.