Get your thinking hardhat on and prepare for a battle with the unforgiving laws of physics! Poly Bridge by Dry Cactus is a builder’s dream-game for the engineer in all of us. It will cleverly appear to be as simple as a children’s game as you first run through the tutorial, but this puzzler is as skill-testing as they come. You’ve been tasked with building a structure from one land mass to another that can stand freely on its own and more importantly, support the weight of one or more vehicles moving across it.
The tutorial provides you with the basics of how to construct bridges of various types and once you enter campaign mode, that’s it, you are on your own! Of course, you can still revisit the tutorial if you forget how to use any of the materials. The campaign is loaded with over 36 levels that involve many different styles of bridges that pose new challenges in structural design and building. Your bridges will have to support either a single vehicle or a combination of them that include but are not limited to station wagons, school buses, monster trucks and some old guy on a scooter.
“Don’t expect to be dazzled with fast-paced action because the only time you’ll see anything animated on-screen is when you have finished your build and put your innovative design to the test.”
In the real world, there are a lot of kinds of bridges: drawbridge, suspension bridge, girder, truss-arch, moveable… the list is huge. Poly Bridge provides the means to construct a digital replica of a good many of them, plus some hybrid versions and a bunch of crazy other things, like ramps and jumps. The game seems to have a good handle on the physics aspect, giving you a full weight and stress factor report at the end of a successful level. For each new challenge, you’ll be given a budget, materials and a goal. Some are simple bridges for a single vehicle, some require hydraulics to allow for passing ships and some really aren’t bridges at all, but rather, launching and landing pads.
Don’t expect to be dazzled with fast-paced action because the only time you’ll see anything animated on-screen is when you have finished your build and put your innovative design to the test. Your bridges are all created on a 2D grid, from a side perspective. With a quick and easy user interface, you’ll be putting frames, pivots and braces together in no time. The editor is fun to use and it even has an appealing, good quality soundtrack. Ready to give your bridge a go? The moment of truth comes along with some excitement and anticipation as the view of your creation switches to 3D and the vehicle(s) are set on their path to reach their destination. Will you pass the level in triumph? Or, will you be sent back to the drawing board after what is often a really amusing disaster?
I’m giving extra points to Poly Bridge for the sole fact that they have indeed included a provision for those of us who would like to create our own levels and share them with the Steam community. The level editor is functional, yet I expect a great number of more features to be added to it for the official release. I’m giving bonus points on top for Dry Cactus mentioning all the top user submitted levels and making them easier to find and download! I would love to see this game go one step further and also make a vehicle editor, to create anything from a kid on a skateboard to a gigantic mining tractor.
I think the concept of this game is terrific, and even the early access build had very few bugs that I encountered. The developers are clearly on the ball and have already updated the early access build with several bug-fixes for the new opt-in beta version. If this game catches on as well as I think it might, I foresee a not-so-distant-future version that is rich with realistic building and blueprinting capabilities, matching high-res animated graphics and an endless source of user provided challenges.
***A preview code was provided by the Publisher***