Published by Headup Games
Developed by ClockStone Studio
In Bridge Constructor you are given the role of a bridge architect and you must build thirty different bridges in five different regions. There are four different materials to use: wood, steel, concrete and cables. In order to provide an extra challenge, you must not exceed your budget for each bridge and not all of the four materials are available in each of the game's scenarios. What you have to do is make sure that you build a bridge that can support its own weight and the load that either of the vehicles will place upon it. Once you've built the bridge you can run a test to make sure it can take the weight of the cars or the trucks. The cars and the trucks effectively act as difficulty levels. You'll complete a challenge if either of the vehicles makes it across but you'll get more points for constructing a bridge that can support the weight of the trucks and a gold Truck Proof seal of approval to boot. You'll also earn a high bonus score for completing your bridge well under budget. Your score can then be uploaded to Facebook along with a picture of your successful bridge design.
Probably the best aspect of Bridge Constructor is that you're free to construct the bridges in almost any which way you choose. I say almost because you can't build a humpback bridge for instance as the road across the bridge must be a level surface (the span can't be higher or lower than the ramps on either side). You also can't simply run your timber or steel beams to the ground unless there is a secure footing for them to be attached to. However, these few limitations still allow plenty of scope for you to be creative with your designs. The game doesn't punish you for failing and one of the strange pleasures I had with the game was to see the bridge collapse, sometimes under its own weight. Finding a puzzle game that can make you laugh at your mistakes is a rare thing indeed and the developers definitely deserve praise for that.
As you run tests on your completed bridge you'll see parts of it change colour to show you the areas that are being put under stress. If the parts remain green it's coping well with the stress but sections will redden as the load increases (which can be seen in the screenshots). This enables you to determine which parts of your design are weak and are in need of alteration. The thing to bear in mind here is that you don't need to be an engineer to understand what's happening and the game on the whole is extremely accessible. Each of the materials has their own properties which must be considered but this is explained to you when you first have access to them in a challenge.
The game's presentation is absolutely fine. Graphically the game is good enough and should have little problem running smoothly on any PC from the last six years or so. There is no speech in the game and virtually all of the information is presented visually. The vehicle horns that sound when they've successfully crossed your bridge are not captioned but that's hardly a problem. In short, it's a game that looks good and is fully accessible.
I have to admit to being surprised at how much I've enjoyed playing Bridge Constructor. The bridge-building scenarios are a lot of fun and even the designs that don't succeed can be humorous when you run your tests on them. I do think the asking price of just under £15 (the current price on GamersGate.co.uk) is a little high however and that it would have been more appealing at a price of £9.99. The current price makes it more expensive than Chronic Logic's Bridge Construction Set and Bridge It games both of which are only $19.99. That said, it will take you many hours to complete all of the included challenges in the most effective way and as a puzzle game it certainly makes a refreshing change.