Game Review #128: Build a Bridge! (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Chad M.
Developer: BoomBit Games
Publisher: BoomBit Games Limited
Category: Puzzle, Simulation, Education
Release Date: 01.17.2019
Price (at time of review): $14.99
Buy Build a Bridge! from the Nintendo eShop here.
Incoming!!! It’s A Mobile Invasion
I still remember walking the gaming aisle of Target and seeing Angry Birds Star Wars. I remember laughing to myself, saying that this was purely a fad and that mobile gaming really has no true place in the console medium. I was slowly won over by some titles, but now that I have my Nintendo Switch I see them come over in droves every week. I have fully embraced them, but every once in a while I see a title come over and become immediately skeptical as to how that would work on a home console. Build a Bridge! was one of those titles I had never played personally, but I had watched my kids play it, as well as their favorite Youtubers, on PC and mobile. But now that it’s made its way to the Switch let’s jump in and talk it out.
We Can Build Bridges Together
As there isn’t any storyline at all, the game relies heavily on three other big game design elements; controls, gameplay, and fun factor. First off I’ll cover controls and gameplay to show how my kids and I had a blast playing through Build A Bridge!
Controls & Gameplay
The controls and entire experience are very different depending on whether you play it handheld or in docked mode. I played a lot in docked mode with a Pro controller and it was a surprisingly fun time, as I had worried how the experience would transfer from touch screen to controller.
The premise is simple, you have a vehicle on the left side of the screen sitting on a land mass. On the right side is the goal destination you’re attempting to reach with a large opening in between over water and rocks. You have to use various items to build a bridge so your vehicle can reach its destination. You use the joy stick as a cursor to place your desired materials. If you don’t work to make sure that the overall structural integrity is solid then you’ll fail. This makes for some interesting trial and error while trying to get your vehicle to safety.
You start off with the basic items like road and wood, where you have to lay out the road then use the wood to hold together the bridge’s structure. Slowly, over time, you get more items like steel beams and metal wiring. You have to use your head to not only get your vehicle from one side to the other, but sometimes there are things like large ship liners and dragons that the bridge also has to clear. So you can’t always make it a simple straight across bridge; you have to really get creative with the way you lay the road out.
Another aspect that comes into play is the amount of money you’re given to spend on supplies, so you can’t just go crazy with buying things to make sure you get across. You have to make sure you stay within budget when building the bridge which keeps the gameplay interesting. My kids and I both enjoyed playing the game docked and handheld. The handheld works great, but this has already been proven through their success on the iOS App Store. Overall, the gameplay is so easy that both newcomers like myself and people that have played on other platforms will find this fun.
Fun Factor - Audio & Visuals
From the first stage until the end I enjoyed my time with Build a Bridge!, with its 80-plus stages testing my engineering and physics abilities to build a bridge. You start off with green, grassy mountains, but after a while you can unlock the Orient and space levels. Each level gives you an added layer of challenge and helps with replayability by adding goals for each stage; like building the bridge but not spending over a certain amount of money or getting the vehicle up to a certain speed. You get the challenge of trying to get different sorts of vehicles over the bridge like cars, trucks, buses, firetrucks and monster trucks, just to name some you’ll see. It’s really a blast making a monster truck do a massive backflip over the gap and land as the confetti shoots out in celebration.
The soundtrack and audio transfer over nicely and work well. Nothing stands out too much, but it’s still satisfying when the crowd cheers as you cross the bridge and the soundtrack is upbeat and catchy. The visuals are crisp and look great either docked or handheld. The overall look of the game is cartoony and the colors pop off the screen.
If you’ve played the game on PC or iPad you know what you’re getting, so you’ll know best if you’re ready to double dip. But for me, it was such a fun time playing this with the kids. The addition of the different areas like space was a nice touch and the goals for each stage really helped add more challenge so I didn’t just blow through the stages. The different goals had me going back and playing stages over and over, laughing as I failed and jumping for joy when I was successful.
Buy Build a Bridge! from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Indigo Pearl