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Review: Poly Bridge

by onAugust 3, 2016
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Simulator games have almost done every single theme you could imagine of. City management with Sim City, Life management with The Sims, even goats (Goat Simulator) and all sorts of everyday jobs like Trucking and even Farming (Focus Entertainment known series that already released 15 sequels). Now comes the new kind of simulator, one that will manage civil engineering in terms of budgeting but also learning basic physics. This my friends is Poly Bridge, a bridge building simulator.

There’s no Gandalf here telling you that “you shall not pass”, but only the laws of physics and a budget sheet that will stand in your way of conquering all challenges. You start and learn the ropes in Poly Bridge with a series of short “missions” set like a story mode. By base, your main objective is building a bridge by connecting two (or more) banks to help a vehicle to cross the obstacle in between (river, sea, etc). The task is obviously not as easy as just linking imaginary dots and pixels with different materials, because you need to take in consideration so many factors that will affect building this bridge.

Poly Bridge VGProfessional Review (12)

You will have to deal with a limited budget (although nothing stops you for going over-budget except the final score), the kind of equipment and its costs that you have at hand to build the bridge, the distance between banks and inclination of these two points, and most importantly the actual load that the construction can support. The latter is quite intense in physics, and will be a great challenge for wannabe architects, although not as deep as it should be, like it was with World Of Goo’s style physics systems

You see while I understand the basics of geometry, physics and structure stability of simple bridges, Poly Bridge sadly feels a bit like a “trial and error” concept. Because there’s no real explanation of the weight of each vehicle passing through your bridge, other than your logical visual interpretation (bike is not as heavy as a car, truck is heavier but also with a more spread out weight, etc), it’s difficult to get immersed to the smallest details, and thus end up testing different versions of bridges (beam, cable-stayed, suspension, etc).

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The more you advance in Poly Bridge, you get into more complicated challenges and sometimes borders on genius when you finish certain challenges. The “campaign” makes us travel in different worlds or settings such as the forest or the desert, and the replay value of this game mode could be endless since it has user-content created challenges to try out, other than just trying to get to beat the set high scores or even finish all bridges under-budget.

Poly Bridge in some ways, reminds me of what the Trials series is all about (if you don’t know that franchise, then read my review of Trials Fusion: Awesome Level Max Edtion). It’s a game of trials to conquer, with a sandbox mode allowing players to create their own sets, and share to the world, building on its own a community that will hopefully keep this afloat. Topped with the ability of building a bridge with your own friends (or fans) via Twitch integration, this little gem is a great pick, especially on tight budgets.

Poly Bridge was reviewed using a PC downloadable copy of the game provided by Dry Cactus. The game was tested on a PC running Windows 10 Pro, with a 4GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX 960 fitted on a 5th Generation Intel i7 4720HQ 3.2Ghz CPU and topped with 16GB of RAM, as well as on a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 for Touch Screen controls. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published

What we liked

• Great Soundtrack and visual design
• More than 100 levels to beat
• Insane lifespan fueled by user-created content
• Twitch integration

What is not fun

• Not as complex as I hoped it would be
• Not optimized for touch screens yet

Editor Rating
 
Concept
8.8

 
Graphics
8.4

 
Sound
9.0

 
Playability
8.9

 
Entertainment
7.5

 
Replay Value
7.0

Final Score
8.3


Our final verdict
 

I never was a fan of simulator games, but Poly Bridge got me hooked on my very own dream of being an engineer. Designed with a great digital brush, a fun soundtrack and a community that will help building this game even further, it's a great pick for everyone, especially with that tiny price tag.

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