If you have needed a fresh, healthy dose of GLaDOS making snide remarks and insulting your ability to accomplish basic tasks, then Bridge Constructor Portal is for you!
Also, it happens to have this decent physics-based bridge building puzzle game attached to it, so that’s something, I guess?
Build A Bridge
Now, Bridge Constructor Portal isn’t the first iteration of a game that has borrowed elements from another more popular game. It also isn’t the first time that a game uses a cameo appearance to enhance the overall user experience. However, it is one of the finest uses of both of these elements. Bridge Constructor Portal is, in essence, a physics-based bridge building game like many others, but it is a subpar version of its own series, propped up by the charm of an unstable android voice created for a more well-known puzzle series. You have girders, and wires at your disposal. You will utilize these tools to complete bridges leading from one side of a gap to another. These structures must be able to support themselves, which can be checked first by selecting the “test” option that you are given. Once you see that your bridge won’t fall apart instantly when you set the vehicle in motion, you must also hope that the vehicle can successfully traverse the level in its entirety without the bridge collapsing under the weight, or sagging to slow momentum. The best way to go about this is to make sure that your girders and wires all match up almost perfectly from the starting point to the endpoint. These points will be represented by circles.
How To Play
You can play the game docked and handheld with a controller to do this, but it is by far the most cumbersome and difficult method by which to play Bridge Constructor Portal. Ideally, you’ll want to play in handheld mode, using touchscreen controls.The frustrating part about this is that often you find yourself unable to make sure that you’re successfully overlapping your circles closely enough because you’re hiding it with your finger. So, you must do your best to match things up almost perfectly, but are not able to see to ensure this happens consistently. Destroying the components is easily done by double tapping, but it is incredibly frustrating that the largest portion of difficulty doesn’t come from solving the engineering puzzles related to span distance and proper support, but from your own inability to see what it is that you are doing. This obviously leads to a lot of irritating moments that is just you placing the same girder or wire over, and over, and over again.
There are some clever environmental puzzles to be overcome that incorporate different colored portals to spice things up a bit, but usually, the solution can be ascertained by testing the limits of the length of your girders and wires in relation to how much space you have to work with. Again, I find myself praising the tie-in with the Portal series much more than the game proper. If it weren’t for the inclusion of portals and GLaDOS constantly taunting you and cracking wise, Bridge Constructor Portal would be a completely forgettable experience, and anyone but the most hardcore of puzzle fans could overlook it without a second glance. Unfortunately, the inclusion of the Portal license has probably caused the game to carry a hefty price tag that makes it too expensive to even be a great impulse buy.
There are some fun elements to the game, of course. The physics are spot on, and it is deeply satisfying to construct a bridge that is solid as a rock and supports a whole convoy of vehicles. On the flip side of that, if you forget to tap a girder to convert it to a road, it is hilarious to watch the vehicle and its occupants fall through to a pit of acid due to your negligence. It is also quite entertaining to watch how the bridge will sway, droop, and bounce after you’ve constructed it and send the vehicle over. Sometimes the droop is too much during a test run, and the whole thing just collapses. When you do these tests and watch where the weak points are, it is easy to figure out where you went wrong and how it needs to be fixed. Bridge Constructor Portal also provides a lot of levels to play through, and each feels a bit more different than the last. It isn’t a bad experience, and you can probably get used to the controls and enhance your own enjoyment, but there isn’t anything particularly great other than the great utilization of the Portal license.
Watch some GLaDOS highlights on YouTube, especially from Portal 2 (where her voice triggers my ASMR response); then, wait for Bridge Constructor Portal to go on super sale.