Bridges. We all use them and we all need them. But have you ever thought about building one? Turns out — they’re a lot harder to design than they look. That’s exactly what Bridge Constructor Ultimate Edition sets out to teach you with its physics-based puzzle mechanics.
Bridge Constructor takes its name quite literally, as the game consists of a variety of different levels that challenge you to build a bridge from one end of an unfinished road to another. Taking place in different environments like cities, deserts, and mountain passes, the levels get more and more crafty as you progress, leading you to refine your skills as you go in order to make sure each of your bridges is structurally sound.
Don’t break the bank or the bridge
Each bridge has a specific budget. That budget is determined by how much material you use, and there are four different types to make use of: wood, steel, concrete, and metal cables. Wood and steel are the main materials you’ll be using. Wood is the cheapest but is also the most fragile. Steel is a lot stronger and a single piece can be longer than that of wood, though it’s far more expensive. The trick with some bridges is to use both, but with the catch of figuring out exactly how they best fit together. For instance, I built one bridge almost entirely out of wood and used just a few pieces of steel for the support beams. Concrete is used to construct towers that can then be attached to the bridge via the metal cables. Towers can also be made out of wood and steel, but concrete is far sturdier and won’t tip over due to weight and balance.
Speaking of weight and balance, those really are the two main things you have to take into account with each bridge. The goal isn’t just to build a bridge, but to build one that can stand upright on its own and support the weight of vehicles. There are two types of vehicles: normal and heavy. You get bonus points if heavier vehicles can make it across. As you place each piece of your bridge, stress points will form. When stressed to the max, these pieces will collapse, which results in you failing to finish the level. Distributing weight evenly across the bridge is the key to keeping it together.
Bridge Constructor does give you a few prompts in the beginning for introduction purposes, but you’re really left to your imagination when it comes to designing each bridge. The one real construction tip that it gives you is to use triangles.
When looking at pictures of real bridges, I found out that triangular designs are actually used quite extensively in reality, and thus I tried my best to implement them here in the game. It takes some skill to complete a bridge without going over budget that has enough of these triangles, and believe you me, I am still learning.
Since this has been released as the Ultimate Edition on Switch, it includes the Trains and SlopeMania DLC packs. Both of these new modes function exactly the same as the base game, but with their own unique twists. SlopeMania has you building bridges between two different points of elevation, thus providing an even greater challenge as you try to balance bridges with rises and falls.
As for the Trains pack, it’s very similar to the base game, but since trains are far heavier, these bridges are more heavy-duty and require even more precise designs in order to be successfully completed.
“London Bridge is falling down” – I hope not
Bridge Constructor Ultimate Edition does give you some creative free rein, but this game is really more about problem-solving rather than artistic ability. If engineering is by no means your field, as is my case, then you better believe a lot of trial and error is involved in this experience. But hey, it’s a puzzle game after all. As frustrating as it can be, I still found it rather fun whenever I did finally get a vehicle across. So, if you’re up for a challenge, it’s worth checking out.
A review code was provided by the publisher.