Build a Bridge is a quirky little design sandbox wherein you create increasingly convoluted bridges to get a number of vehicles across a frighteningly deep chasm.
The mechanics of the game are routed very firmly in the physics engine; you need to build supports for your bridge so as to be able to bear the load of the cars. It all makes some pretty intelligent sense – wooden beams angled into a support structure to ensure the car doesn’t collapse into a fiery hunk of metal, steel beams to construct more load-bearing parts.
You can have a lot of fun when attempting to design your bridge, only to find that it caves in at the last minute, sending that cheerful sedan full of happy beach goers towards their untimely doom. Like I said, a barrel of laughs.
only to find that it caves in at the last minute, sending that cheerful sedan full of happy beach goers towards their untimely doom.
There are two pretty persistent problems with Build a Bridge however: the first is that the controls are not suited to touchscreen interface at all. Dragging the beams and support structures using your finger is clunky and uncomfortable, leaving the player having to repeat several clicks simply because the screen doesn’t recognize it. At first I thought something was either wrong with my finger, or with the screen. Luckily, it’s just bad design.
The second problem is far more worrying; this game is a total and complete copy of Poly Bridge.
Poly Bridge is a really fun little indie game available on Steam for PC that is exactly the same as Build a Bridge. That’s because Poly Bridge came out last year – this entire mobile game is a total and complete rip-off of an already popular game.
This makes Build a Bridge a really recent example of a common trend in indie videogame development; a lot of games are made using ready-made software engines such as Unity, which allow developers to make a game using what amount to building blocks, often using textures and images from a shared library.
A game can be released, like Poly Bridge, using Unity, only on one platform. Then, because they don’t have the sole rights to anything using Unity, other developers can essentially just copy exactly what they’ve made onto their own copy Unity, but this time make it for mobile.
So at the end of it all, you’re left with a game that is copied entirely, down to the last texture or game mechanic, but put into mobile.
Because of this, Build a Bridge is laggy, confusing and clearly not fit for purpose.
Build a Bridge is laggy, confusing and clearly not fit for purpose.
Build a bridge is an okay game, all told. It’s quirky, it’s quite fun to build the bridges and sometimes fail at it. It has a few lag issues, as well as some pretty clear loading problems that sometimes make the game hang there for ages, making you wonder if you should throw your phone off a bridge to hope and fix it, but altogether, it’s not ultimately a bad game.
It’s a shame someone already made it first.[appbox googleplay com.boombitgames.BridgeLowpoly]