Bridge Constructor. That’s a strong name. Straight to the point, no messing around. These days games have gone the same way as straight-to-DVD movies by having terrible colon-separated names. Bridge Constructor tells you what’s up. You build bridges.
Each level is a gap. On each side of the gap is one or more anchoring points. You then stretch across the gap with pieces of bridge-building materials such as wood or steel. Once the gap is covered you press R1, select a vehicle (a car, a truck or a tank truck, the last of which is unlocked later on) and then one of three things happen.
- Your bridge collapses under its own weight.
- Your bridge collapses under the weight of the vehicles.
- Your bridge holds, the two cars or trucks get across and all is good.
The key to success is to create a lattice of bridge bits that strengthens the overall structure rather than dragging on it. Too many bits and the bridge snaps like it was built in India in a week. Too little and it holds weight with all the sturdiness of a house made of lettuce leaves.
The very best thing about Bridge Constructor is that there are multiple solutions. You’ll learn tricks along the way that you can use over and over (such as the immediate tip that triangles tend to be strong) but each level can present a very tricky problem. Once you’ve beaten a level, you can then try to pick away at the bridge like a game of Jenga, seeing if material savings can be realised.
Behind the gameplay is the physics engine that creates a believable experience. You’ll start sensing the weak points in your structures before you even test them but when it is time to test, the tension of hoping that one weak point holds, well that’s kind of powerful.
That said, this game is essentially a mobile puzzler that has been given the PS4 and Vita treatment. But it is a cross-buy, cross-save effort and while the graphics are pretty simple, this isn’t a game that needs a ton of polish. You want to see your structures as clearly as possible and Bridge Constructor doesn’t complicate things.
Getting through the game can be frustrating. You can painstakingly build and refine towards a solution that will never work and making the mental leap to a new structure can be difficult. The game isn’t a cakewalk (although platinum hunters can just Google most of the solutions) but thankfully there aren’t too many levels. This is the kind of thing that could drag out, especially given how low on variety it is, but I’ve enjoyed it so far and I’ve been hammering it because I’m such a goddamned professional.
However, you don’t need my review anyway. Just look at the screenshots. They tell you pretty much everything you need to know. As does the title. You construct bridges.