Bridge Constructor for iOS, which now is one of the most popular paid titles in the iTunes App Store, is challenging, unpredictable, and one of the most irritating games I've ever played. It's a physics-based puzzler where your job is to create structurally sound bridges so that vehicles may pass over without destroying your handiwork.
The essence of the game is captured in a single animated GIF on a Reddit post. A tanker truck starts to cross a sturdy-looking bridge only to explode in flames while the bridge collapses beneath it. Yet, even with that mishap, the player manages to unlock a new achievement.
In my experience creating the perfect bridge was enough to drive me to distraction on some levels. But even so, I kept coming back for more.
The object of the game is to build a bridge strong enough for a pair of cars, trucks, or a single gasoline tanker to cross. Each level has a list of materials that can be used to piece together the bridge, with a set budget that you can't go over.
Sounds simple, enough, right? Well, just like bridge engineering in the real world, the stakes are a lot higher.
There are four different types of materials you can use when building a bridge: wood, metal beams, concrete pillars, and cables. The wood is typically used as the road for the bridge itself, and early on in the game it's also used to construct the support system. As the spans get longer and more complex, the metal beams, cables and cement pillars come into play and help strengthen your creation.
You connect the various materials together in any pattern of your choosing to build a road for the bridge, along with a support system to hold it up. Some levels are simple, requiring only the road to span a river with a triangle-style support system. Other levels are far more complicated and force you to dig deep to recall high school math, taking into account weight bearing calculations and such. I found trying to connect the various materials in a way that would create a sturdy object to be extremely challenging.
Test it out
During the building process, you can preview the structure by tapping on the play button. The preview offers you a chance to look at the bridge and how well built it is using colors to indicate its strength. The game will highlight the stronger sections in green and weak points are marked with a color ranging from yellow to dark red. The closer the color is to dark red, the weaker that particular section is.
Once you evaluate the current strength of the bridge you can elect to have the cars drive across and test it out, or go back and try to strengthen it. The preview feature is something I enjoyed using a lot, and is a critical part of the game. Often times I would build the support structure for half of the bridge, only to preview it to see if my blueprint was solid. If the section I had just built crashed into the ravine, I would start over.