I mean, she only shows up at the beginning of some levels, and since Bridge Constructor Portal boasts 60 puzzles ranging from simple to complex-enough-I-just-wanna-cheese-the-physics-system, I wish she were more present.
Bridge Constructor Portal is not just a simple Portal game mashed together with another bridge construction game. It really is a beautiful hybrid of two successful series. The folks at Headup Games and ClockStone are some developers who really know how to put a license to good work. You, as a would-be chief engineer, must use struts, ramps, slides, and other tools to successfully get an Aperture forklift from entrance to exit. Sounds simple enough? Nuh-uh. There are challenging levels that require you to use Portal 2‘s propulsion and repulsion gel surfaces, and aerial faith plates, along with avoiding acid pools and figuring out button switch and laser barrier puzzles. It’s fun and gratifying once you beat a puzzle and some of them even let you solve it in more ways than one – intended or not.
Looks simple right? Look again.
Bridge Constructor Portal feels more like a Portal game, using Bridge Constructor mechanics and physics baked in. There really is nothing wrong with that, considering within the first hour of playing, it already felt familiar. Half-Life sound effects, GlaDOS (from the talented Ellen McLain reprising the role) mocking you passive-aggressively, and the headaches of figuring out puzzles using portals. They even included the companion cubes, turrets, and different covered surfaces from Portal 2. It all makes for a smooth and polished experience, if yet with an unsatisfying ending.
Don’t get me wrong, the humor is there. GlaDOS winning you over with her “charm”, a picture of a cake on the protagonists’ computer; there are elements that make for a fleshed-out game. Yet, once you beat the 60th level, you get a mini-cutscene like you do almost every 10 levels, and then it cuts to the main menu. That’s it. Nothing more. There’s a dollar amount in each level that always counts upward the more struts you use, but for no purpose other than visual. Perhaps what would have been a great addition is a challenge mode offering rewards for beating a puzzle under a certain dollar amount, as now you can complete all puzzles using an unlimited amount of struts and ropes.
Most importantly, Bridge Constructor Portal is the type of game that begs to have a level creator, at the very least to increase replayability, but also to interconnect all players. I mean, Bridge Constructor Portal is going to be released on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android and iOS. Imagine if my brother, who uses iOS, is battling for time against my friend who plays on PS4, to a level I created on PC? I would be putting such love into creating frustrating puzzles for my friends to never be able to figure out.
Don’t get me wrong, Bridge Constructor Portal was a blast to play. I just wish the ending gave me more satisfaction. Also at the end of the day, it’s $9.99. It’s a downright bargain for how much time it takes to beat all 60 levels. My Steam shows 21 hours played, and I only did 10 levels or so with the convoy (you can press play to see if your solution can support a convoy of forklifts to the end, not just one). I’d still recommend picking this up for sure, as the developers have already been hot on their feet with releasing patches and minor fixes in a moment’s notice.
Bridge Constructor Portal released on Steam on December 20, 2017, and will see a release on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on February 28th of this year. PS4 will be just a bit behind, releasing on March 1, 2018.
Have you geeks played the original, and will you try this one out? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Bridge Constructor Portal was provided by the publisher for review.