Bridge Constructor Portal (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

I just love the Portal games.  They’re some of my most favorite puzzle platform titles and evil computer GlaDOS immediately became one of my top video game villains when I first saw her in Portal.  And now Portal has teamed up with another puzzle game: Bridge Constructor, to bring you a new bridge building game with Portal themes.  At first I wasn’t interested in Bridge Constructor, but after I heard there was going to be a Portal version, I got pretty interested in it after that.  So much so that I reviewed the original game here.  And I’m glad I did, as it helped me understand the Portal version better.  Anyway, Bridge Constructor Portal is available for nearly all current game consoles, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on PS4 here.

The object is the same as in the original game.  You must use a grid based and cursor building system to place platforms, scaffolds, and cables to make bridges so forklifts can make it to point A to point B.  They simplified the building tools and omitted concrete, and they took out the rule where you can only build as much as you have budget for.  You can still see how much money you ‘wasted’ on your bridges, but you don’t get penalized.  It’s just a fun little score you can keep track of if you wish. When you are finished building you can test your creation by having a forklift drive through.   Once you get one forklift through, you can challenge yourself by trying to get a whole convoy of forklifts across, or you can start the next level (60 in all).

But just because they simplified things a bit, it doesn’t mean the game is any easier.  You’ll have to deal with all sorts of new obstacles.  Mainly you can have forklifts drive through portal doors to appear in other spots on the map.  Other obstacles you may have to deal with are forklift-destroying sentry turrets, pools of acid, switches, companion cubes, and bouncing super pellets.  So now only must you build bridges, but you may have to build other structures to destroy turrets, flip switches, and solve puzzles.  Later on you’ll even have to deal with acceleration and bouncing gels, just like in Portal 2, which can make your forklifts drive faster or bounce around when they touch those colored gels.  So they really utilized the Portal themes well.

The game starts you off fairly easy, and GlaDOS gives you instructions and taunts you at the same time in the entry tutorial levels, so figuring out the game’s rules is a bit more intuitive, thanks to that.  But the levels get super HARD about halfway through the game.  Aside from that, all the other problems I had with the game are very minor.  It would’ve been neat if GlaDOS talked at you more, or sang you a song at the end credits, or maybe Wheatley could’ve joined in on the fun, too.  But I guess all that licensing would’ve been too expensive, and this isn’t a AAA game or anything (but nothing wrong with that, as many of today’s AAA titles are way too overbloated and overhyped).  Some may find the interface on the PS4 a bit clunky, but it’s certainly an improvement over the original Bridge Constructor.  Building requires a bit more accuracy here, so you may have to zoom in more often to get your bridges adjusted just right.  And like with other physics-based games, there is a level of unpredictability that can be a bit frustrating.  For instance, I could get a whole convoy of forklifts through my obstacles, only to have the last one flip over for no apparent reason.  But if you like Portal games and puzzlers like Lemmings, you’ll definitely want to check this one out anyway.  It’s one of the best puzzle games I’ve played this year so far.

Kid Factor:

Violence is really only minimal and cartoony.  You can send forklifts into dangerous situations that could get them tossed about, exploded, or dissolved into acid.  But the drivers of these forklifts look like stick figures straight off the men’s public restroom door.  GlaDOS’ humor is pretty tongue-in-cheek as well.  Reading skill is a must for the text, and younger gamers may need help with the tougher levels.  Even though the game is based on more science fiction than science fact, it could still be considered somewhat educational as it uses real world physics rules to build bridges.  You can even view a ‘resource library’ that gives you hints on how to build the best bridges and even shows pictures and equations on how those kinds of things work.  I could see kids spending hours on this and the original game building all sorts of crazy contraptions.  Bridge Constructor Portal is rated E for Everyone.

2 Responses to “Bridge Constructor Portal (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)”

  1. Interesting. I wonder if it’s on Game Pass for Xbox? I’ll look tomorrow.

  2. not really my style but still cool.

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