There are many kinds of puzzle games, but one style many don’t really talk about are the ones focusing on building. Solving challenges through building parts of the game world is just as brain taxing when compared to finding the right piece of a block in Tetris. Using your own creative mind and a tool box to solve a problem is rewarding to accomplish.
Bridge Constructor for the PlayStation Vita is one such game that explores this concept though tasking you as the player to construct various bridges to get all kinds of objects across the road. Does this game offer enough tools to build a great bridge? Or does it fall to pieces under it’s own weight?
There is no real story here outside of you going across various locations and building bridges using supplies given to you. A story isn’t really needed for games like these, so you can just jump right into the action. You complete levels one at a time to unlock more via the game’s map screen. After selecting a level, you hop into a challenge where you’re tasked with building a bridge for your vehicle to cross over.
The trick, is what kind of vehicle do you want to cross over your bridge. I say this because the game’s difficulty system is balanced in this clever way. To get more points, you have to get the heavier truck over the bridge but to simply complete the level, you could just use a basic car and not worry much. It’s a system that works well and never feels too difficult to work with.
Building your bridge is done through solid controls that blend physical and touch screen inputs. You can interact with menu’s and zoom in/out of the screen using the Vita’s touch screen but construction is mapped to the analog stick & face buttons. This simple system works and considering this game’s PC origins, it feels great to play on Vita.
Making your bridge though is the greatest challenge of the game, as you are tied to a budget meter. If you spend too much money, you cannot build more. So resource management is key when making a good bridge. The task of making a good one though is difficult however, as the later levels get quite challenging.
You get more tools to work with thankfully, so it never becomes too much of a challenge. If you want one however, the game has extra levels you can access as you play through the main levels. These ones focus on steep inclines, making bridge construction even more of a taxing challenge. Overall basic level design and core gameplay work well together and the physics system helps make things quite fun.
You have over six main locations to visit with about six to eight levels each and getting the highest score across all levels, in addition to completing the extra levels, will take a long time to accomplish. This game offers a lot of content if you invest enough time into your bridges and scores.
Presentation for is a bit weak sadly; many of the locations and assets are blurry, colors are too drab and frame rate can dip from time to time. It doesn’t impact gameplay in any major way, but the game could look better. This applies to the musical score as well. It sound so generic and lacks personality, but it doesn’t distract from your bridge building.
Bridge Constructor for the PlayStation Vita is a good puzzle game that offers a lot of content, more so if you really get into earning the highest scores through your bridges. Core gameplay works well and the controls adapt well to the Vita hardware, but the presentation holds the overall package back from being anything more than passable.
If you enjoy puzzle games or enjoy building in video games, I can easily see you having a lot of fun with Bridge Constructor. But just be ready for drab production values and a high level of challenge early on in your building adventures.
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