For countless eons, mankind was trapped by the superiority of nature. Chasms, canyons, rivers — we simply had no way to cross. Then, one day, our ancestors invented that all-important construct to help us cross the obstacles of the natural world with ease: the bridge. Thanks to BridgeCraft, you too can get your hands dirty building bridges like a real steel worker.
BridgeCraft is a physics-based puzzle game in which you’ll use your resources to build bridges that little lost critters will walk on. The object of the game is to guide these creatures to a flag that can only be reached through one of you constructs. It’s a fairly simple idea, and as things unfold you’ll quickly realize that this is a fairly simple game.
You’ll have three different building materials at your disposal at all times — deckwork, steel, and rope. Each stage has a budget attached to it, so you’ll only be able to use so much of these materials before your funds run out.
It has the potential to be a fun little puzzle adventure, but BridgeCraft turns monotonous incredibly quickly. Of the 50 stages offered it seems as though more than half can be solved by building the same simple bridge object from the start. After awhile we started building the same bridge on every level, and found ourselves shocked when we had to do something different. And that something different was never really drastically different. The idea and mechanics are there, but there’s very little challenge in the puzzle design.
In terms of gameplay, this one is clearly emulating recent successes in the construction-puzzler genre. World of Goo, Tiki Towers and Elefunk all share the same basic mechanics as BridgeCraft. The difference though, is that these other games have wrapped their games in a unique package with well-designed challenges. The idea of bridge construction isn’t even new — it was done last year in Sony’s Elefunk, a title that is leaps and bounds more impressive than BridgeCraft. Still, as a more casual approach to the genre, BridgeCraft isn’t a total failure.
One of the biggest complaints we had was with the inconsistent world rules. Deckwork was considered a tangible item in the game world, which meant it could rest on the land without a bolt in place. Steel though, was intangible. Without a bolt the steel would simply tumble past the land and end up in the river below. Inconsistencies like this really got in our craw.
Even if these inconsistencies led to a seemingly impassible level, the game was alarmingly forgiving. After a handful of failed attempts you were always presented with the opportunity to skip the level without penalty. Puzzle games are supposed to maintain some level of challenge — giving an easy out like this without any sort of in-game penalty makes this game a walk in the park.
Still, there’s something to be said for the old adage “you get what you pay for.” Unlike all of the other titles we’ve mentioned, BridgeCraft is absolutely free. And it’s not unplayable by any stretch of the imagination, it just gets a little dull. If you have any curiosity about physics-based construction puzzles and don’t want to spend the money on any of the A-list candidates, this might be a good place to dabble. Just don’t expect BridgeCraft to hold your interest for all 50 stages.