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Bridge Constructor Review (PS4)

Please don't collapse! Bridge Constructor is a game where you take control of a builder who's job is to design and build bridges using different materials to allow vehicles over.

Bridge Constructor Review (PS4)

Introduction

Developed by ClockStone Studios and originally released in October 2013 on Steam, Bridge Constructor is releasing on PS4 for the first time on 14th December 2016. The aim of the game is to build bridges across a gap using different materials to allow vehicles over.

You can buy the game on PlayStation Store for $9.99.

Gameplay

Bridge Constructor is easy to learn but hard to master which makes the game accessible to anyone. The bridge building is presented in a simple-to-play way where you select which one of the materials that you want to use and then you add the material to make your bridge across a gap. There are 4 total materials to choose from but most levels will limit you to only use certain ones. After you have built the bridge, you can send vehicles across it to test the bridge and try to pass the level.

Bridge Constructor: All the architects are on holiday so this is up to me
Each level is laid out in in the same way. The difference is in the size of the gap where you have to build the bridge. If the gap is longer then you will need more supports to make sure that it doesn't collapse. The basic method of keeping up a bridge is to build wooden structures in triangles and this is the only method that the game teaches you. As you progress and beat new levels, you will find out new ways to build your bridge under different situations. The easier way to do this would be to experiment combining the materials in different ways. For example, if you have wood underneath steel, the wood will likely give in so steel should be put on the bottom.

Each material costs money to put down and for each level you have a certain budget that you have to stick to.  This might lead to you compromising as you want to put more steel than you can afford so you have to go with wood. These budget constraints add to the difficulty as it means you can't put as many supports down as you want and you need to work out which areas of your bridge needs more materials than other to keep it from collapsing.

There are multiple difficulties on each level depending on which vehicle you choose to test your bridge with. The vehicles are cars, lorries, and tankers which represent easy, medium and hard. You don't pick a difficulty at the start of the game and you can choose level by level depending on how confident you are in your bridge design. All levels can be replayed easily from the map. When you complete a level, you will unlock the next level in the path (there are also bonus levels which can be unlocked).

Bridge Constructor: The grand tour of the map
The gameplay in Bridge Constructor is fun and addictive and I keep going back to try to complete more levels in higher difficulties. However, some levels are a lot harder than the rest and this can get frustrating when you can not work out how to get past a level. This would have been better if you have a selection of levels to choose from at a time instead of unlocking a single level after completing the last one.

Bridge Constructor features a unique physics system. If the framework of your bridge collapses, you will watch as your entire structure snaps and collapses in on itself. Cars bouncing off wood and steel as they all drop. The physics system isn't designed to be realistic but it is humorous and often mental which adds to the mood. The game isn't meant to be serious and the physics allow you to have a laugh as you watch lorries bounce off plates of steel and bounce across the screen.

A problem that I have with the PS4 version is that the original game was designed to be played with mouse and keyboard and it is harder to place materials speedily with a controller. Because of this, you will have to take your time more to make sure you don't keep placing structures in the wrong place.

Bridge Constructor: Woops,this went well

Graphics and sound

The graphics are cartoonish and this matches the humorous atmosphere that the developers were trying to create with the game. The objects are not made up of many parts but this doesn't detract from the experience as Bridge Constructor isn't designed to have realistic graphics.

The music also suits the aim of the developers. It is calm but upbeat which helps to build the mood of the game without distracting the player from concentrating on building a strong sturdy bridge. The soundtrack isn't large but what music there is, is very well-picked by the developers.

Bridge Constructor. This looks very... erm... safe

Conclusion

Bridge Constructor is a very fun and addictive. I've kept coming back to try to complete more levels. The gameplay is well-designed, however, it isn't the easiest to play with a controller as the game was designed to be played with mouse and keyboard. This does detract from the experience, but the Bridge Constructor is in no way unplayable and still very fun to play. It meets its goal of providing the "easy to learn but hard to master experience" and, as you play through the game, you will learn new methods of structuring your bridge. There are only four building materials to work with but there are lots of different ways that you can structure these materials to design your bridge. The unique physics engine also adds to the product's value.

Bridge Constructor has a lot of levels and each level has three difficulty settings which mean that there are hours of content included. It is a good value for money.

Bridge Constructor provides a challenge without being too difficult. There are some really hard levels but most levels are suited to the experience you would have when you unlock them.

PROS
CONS
+ Unique, fun physics engine– Hard to control with the PS4 controller
+ Well-designed cartoon graphics– Only four building materials
+ Interesting and challenging gameplay
+ Lots of hours of content
+ Easy to learn but takes time to master
+ Music matches the mood of the game
7.6
Good

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