Did you ever want to become a civil engineer? This is not your every day’s game, and it’s probably not for the average gamer. Chronic Logic brings us Bridge it, which is a bridge construction simulator, physics engine included, that has the envelope and taste of an indie puzzle game.
The game develops in a 3D engine, although the actual construction takes place in 2D. It starts with a few tutorials and each one teaches you to build a type of bridge, using from iron beams and cables to even hydraulics that are necessary to construct drawbridges. We really liked the tutorials, since some man’s voice tells you what to do so you don’t have to read if you don’t want to and hence can be done quickly. The guy just tells you which materials to use for each part while some arrows mark the way. Really well done.
Playing the game
Once you start the actual levels, you have no aid -no guy guiding you and no points marked on the screen to help-, so you just have a grid overlaid to the place where you actually have to test what you have been learning to be able to build the bridge needed on each of the thirty levels it packs.
The gameplay can be fast if you have an idea of what you’re going to do, since you only need left mouse clicks to place a part and a right click to delete it, and you can even move the camera freely. It’s really a great game to eat or drink something while your brain is smoking. Neither the graphics nor the audio are anything special, since when the budget lacks on indie games the details get rough, but the former are beautiful enough as to don’t ever get tired of its deserts, rivers and forests.
Each level has a budget cap you have to meet, and you get score bonuses if you are clever, which means cheap. Once you have a prototype, you just press a Simulate button and, depending on the scenario, it will be tested through the physics engine using cars, trains and even boats in the case of drawbridges.
Ah, yes, hard levels will even simulate earthquakes your creations will have to withstand! The simulation tool also allows to set up a color overlay to each bridge part to see the stress put on them, so you may have an idea of what to change in case things go wrong. You can also change between a few camera modes while simulating, in case you’d like to know how it feels when you’re just driving a train and the bridge goes down under you.
A different yet entertaining game
The game starts easy, but as you advance you will surely need to take your time to think, specially if you want to demonstrate to the world how cheap you can be. The game can easily take a few days of intensive holiday playing, and you will do some intensive playing with Bridge It when your construction fails. It will be a matter of pride for you: how could you go to sleep while those cars full of people are falling to the void? You will even want to smash your head on the wall a few times on the harder levels.
Overall, Bridge It is so different to what you use to play that it’s a very refreshing indie game to play, even addicting and immersing while you are at it. If you really like the game, there is even a cheap add-on pack that comes with eight more challenges.
The game is available at GamersGate for a bit over $20, which is far from expensive if you take into account how many hours it can entertain you, although we think it would be better if it was a bit cheaper so it could compare with other indie games’ prices. By the way, the game is also on Steam Greenlight, so vote there and it will be probably be on some good sale!
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