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Bridge Project

By NeonAnderson21-05-2013
Bobfish (editor)
Bis18marck70 (editor)
Bridge Project

The Defence

Halycon Media
bitComposer Games
Release Date:

The Prosecution

Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHz
AMD equivalent
Nvidia GeForce 9800
AMD equivalent
4 GB
2 GB

The Case


Bridge Project is the successor to the original, award-winning, Bridge Builder simulation game and introduces fresh new challenges for both amateurs and structural engineers. Featuring 48 different levels and an online community component, does Bridge Project raise the bar for bridge building games on the PC, or is this a bridge too far?

The Trial


Bridge Project is a simulation bridge building “game”, and yes, it really is a game. An issue many simulation games encounter is that they no longer are games and become too focused around the simulation aspect. For Bridge Project this is not the case. Bridge Project achieves this by having serious simulation aspects while providing challenges coupled with the freedom for players to play around with, and thus build, their dream bridge. In addition, Bridge Project offers social aspects to it that will be explained in further depth shortly.

Bridge Project’s content is clear-cut; there are 48 different levels included in the game spread across 4 different themes. These 48 levels make up the entire campaign of the game and while you can jump right in to any of the types you want, within that category you have to play and complete each level in sequence to unlock the next. This is logical though as the levels, get progressively more challenging and, as well as new gameplay challenges, offer new building materials as you progress. While 48 does not sound like much, due to how long it can take to complete each level, there is plenty of content to keep most players busy for weeks. Then add in to that the high replayability of each level and you have yourself months worth of enjoyment. If that was not enough the developers even included social and community elements to give the game infinitely more content.

Help unknown armies invade an unknown nation by building reliable bridges.

Help unknown armies invade an unknown nation by building reliable bridges.

Each level has a score system based on the cost of materials used and the reliability of the bridge. These scores are uploaded to global and friends Leaderboards allowing people to compete building the best bridge, that was not just the cheapest but also the most reliable. If this was not enough, the game supports Steam Workshop, allowing you to create, share and download custom levels that people have created. The mapping tools are straightforward, yet they allow for a great deal of freedom in how the level is designed and what its challenge will be. When creating a level players can also set the availability of materials from the seven different materials available (wood, iron, steel, cables, piston, concrete and suspension). It is always good to see a developer supporting the mapping and modding community and hopefully this feature will pay off in the long run as more people make better maps.

As for how the game actually plays once in a level, the goal is straightforward. Build a bridge that will not break and will survive the level defined “official” tests. As mentioned previously, it depends on the level what, and how much of each material is available to you. As a result, some levels really push you to think where you want to use which kind of material. Do you want the roadway of the bridge to be built out of wood and then use iron for the supports? Or would the reverse work better? There is a lot of trial and error involved in the process, where you will try a concept, then have it tested and find it fails miserably and either adapt it to try to fix the issue or start from scratch for a better bridge. While you are quite free in how you build, you are limited to the materials provided and to the grid you have to build on. Thus unless the material allows for it, you have to build in straight lines in any of the directions the grid supports. The biggest issue here is not with the first playthrough of a level, but for replayability. I prefer to have unlimited materials of my choosing so I can try the same level again but really go all out and build the intricate design I envision. This is really a feature that is lacking.

As for testing the bridge, there are a lot of testing varieties and the player can go beyond the official level designated tests to perform his own. The tests feature 4 different land-based vehicles which include cars, trucks, a train and tanks. You can set how many you want to have cross the bridge, ranging from 1 up to 9 at the same time. For the train, it remains as one train but the weight and length of it can be adjusted. If these tests were not enough, you can also test the bridge with a boat to see if it fits under or if the piston part of the bridge works. In addition, you can pit your bridge against the natural elements to see if yor bridge can survive wind and earthquake. Again, some levels actually require your bridge to be able to stand up against some of these tests for you to pass the level. The only issue really with the testing is the strange physics the game uses, as well as the weak graphics on vehicles. A bus just looks like a box on wheels and when the bridge breaks, it all looks pretty silly due to physics. Perhaps a few generations ago this would look impressive, but sadly we have been spoiled by games with realistic physics and for a game to call itself a simulation game, we would at least expect semi-realistic physics.

Overall, the process of building a bridge, testing it, watching it fail, finding the problem, fixing it, testing it again until it works is very satisfying; especially once you successfully make a bridge that can stand up to the official tests. Then later, it is interesting to go back to the same level and make a new bridge using the same materials and try your own tests on it. The only issue with it all is that the bridge building supports two modes: simple and expert. In simple mode the game is supposed to automatically build all the right parts, such as the roadway where needed, crossbars and mirror building. In expert mode you have to do this all manually. While expert mode is great for people who understand structural engineering, the problem lies in the automation of the crossbar building.

Zombie Bridge!

Zombie Bridge!

It is supposed to not build crossbars on sections where it would block the road, yet often the game does. This is clearly not intentional and seems to be a bug with the script. Sometimes it activates while other times it takes multiple attempts to make it work. This is quite annoying and needs to be fixed urgently. In addition, while the game does give a lot of freedom, when you want to build a piston bridge to allow a boat through, you are very limited. The piston lifting mechanic only work if the piston is directly connected to the part that needs to open. Thus if you had dreams of building a realistic fully lifting bridge, that is not possible as the opening joint will not open! This is really disappointing as I only found this out after building an impressive looking bridge that was supposed to fully lift up to allow a boat through. It is really sad the game imposes this limitation, as there are real bridges that the entire metal structure lifts up and not just two tiny segments of the roadway.

Graphically speaking the game is decent but does suffer in some areas already discussed. While the environments look really good, the lighting needs some serious work as I was forced to disable realistic lighting, it had quite the strange effect and looked anything but realistic. Funnily enough, tanks look really good and come in a variety of different designs, while cars and busses all look the same and are simple square textures. Yet trains, like the tanks, also look really good and have had some clear texturing work done on them. It is odd the developers spent what looks like a few minutes in paint to create the cars and busses and then months designing the train and a variety of different tanks - a serious lack of consistency. In terms of physics, it is understandable that they were not able to make or license better physics and had to stick to the old-fashioned and dated physics technology (object breaks, object falls, all objects fall the same way, etc...). However, it would have added a lot to the visual impact of the game if they were better.

There is also some very strange camera shaking when parts of the bridge are breaking and often it looks downright weird. It would have been better without that or they should have put more work on the way it shakes. As for the audio, there is nothing to really say positively here; in general the audio is acceptable but nothing impressive, some poor sound effects though they do the job and except for the piston sound when the bridge is opening or closing, none of the other sounds or music detract from the experience.

As with lot of games I have reviewed for Pixel Judge, often one of my major complaints is on how the game jumps right into the thick of it without allowing you to first change the options. With Bridge Project this is fortunately not the case, as when you first start the game a window pops up allowing you to customise the resolution, general graphic quality (fastest, good, fantastic) and set the game to full screen or windowed mode. The only issue here is that the game saves all settings except the window mode option. This means that each time you start the game again you have to check the box for window mode if that is how you prefer to play it. Once in-game there are more detailed settings, allowing you to set the overall graphics quality again and the vegetation quality separately. You can also enable or disable a few camera and interface features as well as change how the grid interface looks. Lastly you can enable and disable “daytime simulation” personally however, I felt like it did not look good.

...and to your left you can see a beautiful waterside village.

...and to your left you can see a beautiful waterside village.

Another issue here is that the game controls are non-customisable, so you are stuck with the default. While the default controls do work, they do have a few issues and I would have preferred to be able to change them so that the camera navigation would not rely so much on the mouse and scroll wheel.

The Verdict


The game has its undeniable issues, but despite these it is a great simulation bridge builder. Players will find the opportunity to challenge themselves to think of efficient and reliable ways to build the bridge the way they want. Once players have finished the 48 levels included they can create their own levels or go to the Steam Workshop and download levels created by creative members of the community.

Case Review

  • Gameplay: Fun gameplay through and through from start to end of the bridge building process.
  • Challenging: It starts simple but you will quickly find yourself grinding gears in your brain trying to figure out how to build a working bridge for each level.
  • Steam Workshop: Support for Steam Workshop is always a good thing.
  • Audio: While the audio and music are of acceptable quality, some elements might ruin the experience.
  • Controls: The controls work, but they should be customisable.
  • Physics: It is really too bad this game did not feature better physics.
  • Graphics: Decent in most places, created in paint in other places.
Score: 4/5
This is a bridge you will want to cross.
Comments (6)
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Posts: 3290

Bridge to the moon baby!

Posts: 596

Yeah, it's really fun, I just hope they update it with an "endless" mode that allows you to use an infinite amount of parts of all the different building materials on each level. Other bridge building games I've played on my phone have had that and it's always fun to go back to a level and just mess around, building ridiculous bridges and see if they work or not.

It's funny though how if you put too much thinking it would make it super strong, actually ends up making it really weak due to the weight of all that material.

Posts: 3290

Funny how such simple ideas often turn out to be the most engaging isn't it

Posts: 207

I've played many games like this before....and I really want this one!

Posts: 233

I remember playing a similar game long ago

Posts: 53

Somehow I want this more than any other triple-A title out right now.