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I love a good physics game, especially ones that involve building things or breaking things, seen as both are possible in this game, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to review Bridge Constructor. When it comes to physics games there are plenty to choose from these days, I’m not talking about games like Half Life 2, which does have a great physics engine and I am partial to building rocket chairs in Garrys mod, I mean games like World of Goo, Armadillos Run and even Angry Birds, but how does Bridge Constructor compare?
It’s a charming little puzzle game where the objective is to build a bridge across various gaps, with the aim of it being able to support the weight of two cars and get them safely to the other side, or if you’re confident in your abilities as a pretend engineer you can earn bonus points by allowing two trucks to drive across your bridge instead.
You start off with just one material for your first bridge, wood, it’s not very strong but it is very flexible and cheap. You will however quickly work your way up to levels that require various combinations of Wood, Steel, Concrete and Cables and there are restrictions on most of the levels which only allow you to use one or two of the materials, but all levels have to be constructed to a budget, which is where the game gets rather tricky, as in most cases the budget is quite tight, meaning you have to get your thinking cap on so you don’t over use materials.
I was expecting this game to be rather easy, given my prowess in previous bridge games I started this one with confidence, but trying to stay within budget and make a bridge strong enough for trucks is really frustrating, more often than I had hoped the trucks would land in a river, ditch or less often launched hurtling in the air!
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This being a physics based game, I was hoping the games claims of “Complex statics and physics simulation, realistic features of materials that create big authenticity” would hold true, but it’s really not the case, when a bridge fails they break up and the trucks do slow back flips, it just doesn’t look right, but at least provides enough that the game functions well enough, wood breaks easier than steel, concrete is completely indestructible and cables can only take so much tension, that’s about as robust as the physics are, simple yet effective, but by no means realistic in my opinion.
The game covers several regions such as The Westlands, Central mainland, Eastern Mainland, all of which facilitate you with a different back drop for your bridges, all of which look tidy enough that the game doesn’t look boring, but some of the best bridge games I have played were just simple flash games with basic graphics, it’s not really anything ground breaking.
The graphics and back drops look decent enough, not going to put much strain on even the graphics of a modest laptop, but it’s pleasant enough to look either way, and it resolutions up to 1920×1080 and various levels of detail for those that don’t have any computer power to speak of. I mostly ended up playing this game in windowed mode, tabbing back to it every couple of hours if I had a spare twenty minuets, the kind of casual gameplay this game was designed for.
Finishing a level under the budget will earn a higher score, meaning there is a bit of replyability to the game if you feel so inclined. I do like the fact you can post your scores to Facebook, should you have many friends that are interested in this game, at least you will be able to compete.
The game could do with more levels given it’s priced just under £15, which is a bit more than you would expect to pay for a game like this, with so many free bridge building games available to play in your browser, on your iPhone, Android and just general freeware for your PC, it really needs to have something special about it that this game lacks. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, I found it fun and challenging and for a coffee break title its a great time killer, but because of it’s cost and the fact you could complete it in a couple of hours, it just misses out on an eTeknix award.