It’s quite a craft to be a bridge builder, but it’s even more impressive if you can pad out your CV with a job building bridges in an alien world in order to help its population. It may sound like a pretty specific occupation, but it’s exactly what the job description of Bridgecraft entails. Even if you have played bridge games before, it’s unlikely you’ve encountered anything as cute, friendly, and fuzzy as the physics-based building experience of this game. And it isn’t cute like a cuddly bear is cute: we’re talking heart crushing, cheek pinching, gut-wrenching cuteness that can only be conveyed through actually playing through the thing and making all sorts of “Aww” and “Oooh” noises. Don’t let the cuteness fool you though; it’s quite the thought-provoking challenge that may leave you more frustrated than you thought possible.
For any veterans of the bridge-building genre, this game isn’t going to shock you with its approach. This isn’t a bad thing however, since it makes the game very easy to understand whether you’re experienced or not. The premise? You’re in an alien land on an alien planet and are tasked with building various bridges for aliens so that they can cross their terrain and not suffer the fate of falling into the freezing cold water below. The premise is simple, but one mustn’t mistake this for easiness.
In fact, the game is quite challenging, save for the first few tutorial levels designed to ease you in to the whole concept and layout. If you’ve played Cargo Bridge before, then the format won’t be too far removed from what you’re used to: you are presented with a gap that must be bridged, and you use ‘edit’ mode to access the tools required to do so. You have access to various materials including wooden girders, steel supports, and supportive ropes as well, and varying combinations of these can be attached to the different anchor points on the screen to make your bridge. There isn’t one way to get the aliens across either: you can use whichever approach you like as long as it gets the aliens across when you press the ‘play’ button.
No game would be as silly as to be as easy as it sounds above though, right? Correct. The main constraint to your venture is that you are on a budget, one that seems lavish at first but soon becomes akin to trying to perform a grocery shop for a whole family with just a few pennies. Budget always has a role to play in these kinds of games since it requires you to think more innovatively and to utilise more of your brain to get the job done.
What is refreshing about this game is its interface, which presents you with a few more options than Cargo Bridge 2 and its successors. The most handy of the interface options is the ‘stress button’, which usefully demonstrates the forces that are acting upon your bridge, indicating whether it is being stretched or compressed by glowing blue or red; this tool is extremely useful and can allow you to identify where you bridge’s weak points are so that you can take action to rectify the situation and apply a fix to it. Though it isn’t quite as comprehensive or in-depth as similar games like Armadillo Run, the interface and the tools available to you are quite impressive for a free-to-play flash game.
If you go into Bridgecraft thinking the game’s cuteness level is any bearing on the easiness of the challenges, then you are sorely mistaken. Bridgecraft is as challenging as any physics-based puzzle game you are likely to play, so much so that at times you would expect anyone that isn’t truly into these kinds of games to become too annoyed to continue. The difficulty increases progressively as you play each level, with the budget become more stringent and the loads placed on your bridges more extreme with each passing level, of which there are 70 in total.
A casual and light puzzle game this is not: Bridgecraft is a deceptively difficult challenge that will make even the most experienced physics-puzzler enthusiast scratch their heads and go searching on youtube for various solutions to the puzzles.