Deceptively difficult and surprisingly frustrating, Poly Bridge is a beautiful and vibrant engineering simulator disguised as a kids game. With a simple and clean UI, the tutorial gets you building bridges in no time, introducing new materials and challenges as you progress through the levels. These challenges include limiting the usage of certain materials and different tasks to complete, ranging from multiple units needed to cross the bridge to making multiple bridges function at the same time.
The mechanics in Poly Bridge are actually quite simple. Each level has anchor points in different locations, which hold the bridge in place. They also have access to different selections out of all the materials in order to complete the level. All of this needs to fit within two constraints for a level to be 100% complete – the player must stay within the budget set for the level and bridge stress must never exceed 100%.
Just like in real life, materials cost money to use, limiting how much the player can access to complete the challenge. It quickly becomes a game of moving each piece of the carefully constructed masterpiece in order to save a couple bucks and finish under budget. Bridge stress comes into play when building ramps, having multiple vehicles move at once or when a ship smashes into your bridge side-on. The interesting thing about these mechanics though is upon completion of a level you get some information on other players regarding how many materials they used, how much budget they used and how much stress their bridge was under. This makes for a cool bonus challenge, where you want to beat the average for each section on each level, proving that you’re a bridge building legend.
Aside from the materials, there are some other useful tools that you’ll make use of to efficiently tackles levels. The tracer tool lets you draw lines, including curves, that you can then fill with your material of choice, making curved bridges much easier to create. There is also copy/cut and paste features that allow duplicating pieces incredibly easy, especially when paired with the options to flip the piece you are currently holding, which can be done both vertically and horizontally. The grid setting is also very useful, making joints snap into place that allow easy creation of patterns. However, there have been plenty of times where disabling the grid was needed to shave off less than 1% of my spending and get under budget to fully clear a level.
Each Poly Bridge level presents its own challenge, whether that be making a bridge that escalates/de-escalates, carries a lot of weight, contains multiple draw bridges or acts as a ramp. These are just some of the simple tasks you complete early into the game. However, for those who find the campaign not enough of a challenge, there is a workshop that allows you to try levels created by other players. These levels, as expected, a very hit or miss but there are some diamonds in the rough that present not only interesting ideas but create interesting solutions.
Poly Bridge is a fantastic game that can be played and put down whenever you want, whether it be for long sessions or short bursts of gameplay while doing something else. The music gets repetitive after a while, but it’s not necessary to play with it, meaning you can just mute it and listen to whatever you’d prefer. For me, Poly Bridge is a game about being comfortable with the fact that it will take a while to complete each level and enjoying the experimentation process of building bridges. It’s really enjoyable when you find a systematic structure that you think is full-proof and they introduce an issue you hadn’t even thought would be in the game, making you completely rethink your strategy. This is a game that rewards experimentation and problem solving skills, which is sure to give your brain a thorough workout.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Poly Bridge Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 6/10
Replay Value - 10/10
User Review( votes)
Poly Bridge is a brilliant bridge-building simulator packed full of imagination and challenges.