If you could combine two different genres to form an all-new supergenre, which ones would you choose?
There have been plenty of bridge-building games on the Switch, but the prospect of blending that with an adventure game was an intriguing one. However, when it comes to Bridge Builder Adventure from BoomBit Games, the ‘adventure’ section of the game is limited merely to short cut-scenes between levels.
So, with the potentially misleading title out of the way, this is a traditional bridge-building puzzle game, with forty levels set across four different locales, which rotate in and out throughout the ‘adventure’. The gameplay is the same across the locales, and the mission is to construct a structurally-sound bridge which will support the weight of several unnecessarily sizeable vehicles to make it from left to right.
The game’s Shrek lookalike protagonist has found himself with a rescue mission on his hands after an evil Dr Eggman-like villain obliterates a bridge to pieces while his girlfriend is crossing. By a quite preposterous twist of fate, ‘Princess Fiona’ manages to survive the blast, and she’s waiting right at the end of an extraordinary series of sixty missing bridges. Engineering is clearly not a very popular degree course in this world. Which is a surprise, actually, given how easy it seemingly is to conjure bridge parts out of thin air.
Bridge Builder Adventure presents players with a graph paper-like grid which can be toggled on and off, and a choice of five construction materials and objects which you can make use of in order to bridge the gap (that was subtle – Ed). You can’t just fill the entire screen with materials, of course – you’ll have to work within a budget for each level, and ensuring ‘Shrek’ safe passage whilst spending as little as possible is what’s going to earn players that three-star score end.
The first material at players’ disposal is, naturally, road. This is always the bridge’s upper layer, and without it, cars will surge straight down into the abyss before you can blink. Wood is the first of the foundation materials. Placing wood under the bridge, provided you place the pieces upon adequate support, will make sure the road pieces don’t just crumble as soon as the car rolls onto them. You can turn on a triangle arrangement formula which automatically latches onto the nearest connecting points of other pieces, but of course you’ll use extra budget through using more pieces.
Other pieces you can include in your bridge are rope, which can be installed to suspend your bridge from rocks or icicles up above, steel, which makes for much stronger support for your bridge than wood, and lastly, balloons, which simply get attached to the bridge and pull it upwards. You’ll need a lot of balloons to support the car as it trundles over, though, as their durability is through the floor, so they’re next to useless. In fact, you can three-star every single one of the game’s courses on the first difficulty using just the road and wood. There’s even a clue button which never recommends using any other material. As a result, the puzzling feels a bit haphazard until you take on the game’s hard mode.
Bridge Builder Adventure is all bridge-related puzzling. You won’t find any real new take on the genre here – though with sixty stages and multiple difficulty levels, you will be kept busy for a while.
Bridge Builder Adventure £13.49
Bridge Builder Adventure isn’t quite the adventure it promises, and is a solid bridge-building puzzler only. You’ll probably need a keen interest in engineering to play it through and then take down a harder difficulty, though.