My earliest memory of a bridge construction game dates back to elementary school on an Apple IIe computer. We were given an assignment to construct a bridge that would allow the car to get across safely. In terms of difficulty level, I’d equate it to an advanced challenge, and the reward was a soda and candy bar to the first person that completed it. Well I’m going to admit something; I cheated and won. I found a default folder structure that had pre-built bridges and used one of those. Sorry! However, it did provide me with an enjoyment of what would clearly become the bridge building genre of games over the past 30 years. Now I’m taking a look at Bridge Builder Adventure for the Nintendo Switch, which aims to provide a silly, cartoon-oriented version of a classic mechanic. So how well does this bridge building game hold up compared to countless others?
Bridge Builder Adventure takes players on said adventure as an adorable orc crossing bridges you construct to travel through portals all aboard his World of WarCraft inspired vehicle on wheels. The game does a great job at onboarding you into the basic mechanics, and with either controller support or very accessible touch Screen support, both play methods are a breeze to interact with here and get you on your way to making some sweet bridges.
With an offering of 60 levels, there’s a lot of late-level challenge I found to be had. It’s fairly easy to zip through a third of the game though without really any frustration. The nice thing about Bridge Builder Adventure is that it can be fairly open ended on how you achieve a given level. You’ll have your basic materials, and the game keeps these to a minimum; wood, iron, balloons, and rope are really the big staples here. As per most of these games, you’re given a limit on how many materials you can use per level as well, and this game outlines that via a cost-metered system, which is very simple to learn and understand.
Objectively in each level, you’ll have to make sure your vehicle collects the key to open the portal door, while still safely crossing the bridge you construct. Constructing and reconstructing bridge elements is very simple and with the multiple control schemes allowed, it’s very accessible to use and to experiment.
Something this game does add into the mix that’s quite cool are boss levels. These effectively act as additional challenges or obstacles to a given course. One example is a large flying machine baddie with spiked rotors that will fly through your level, and so you must construct your bridge away from its flight path or you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt. I would have loved more of these styled events throughout the game, but they are unfortunately quite rare.
The game still does try to valiantly mix up gameplay a bit, and you’ll find some levels require you to jump your vehicle or something along those lines. In terms of decades worth of bridge building games that exist, this one follows on par with many, and isn’t as innovative as some I’ve seen out there.
Bridge Builder Adventure launched initially as a mobile game, and the port over to Switch makes that still identifiable. Every level is ranked with a star rating on how well you’ll do, and the casualness of the game resounds with what you’d typically find with a mobile game as well. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing here with this genre of game, however you’ll find you’re definitely paying a premium price for the Nintendo Switch version of the game, which appears identical to its mobile counterpart (apparently free via Google Play store). Still, if you’re craving some bridge building action on the Switch, there are plenty of choices out there right now already. Bridge Builder Adventure is a respectable purchase among them and offers nice thematic progression that does set itself apart from other competitors in the graphics department. Unfortunately the gameplay formula doesn’t bring anything new to the table and it’s just not that exciting or challenging to play.
Bridge Builder Adventure Review
- Graphics - 6/106/10
- Sound - 6/106/10
- Gameplay - 5.5/105.5/10
- Lasting Appeal - 4.5/104.5/10
Final Thoughts: MEDIOCRE
Bridge Builder Adventure is a cutesy take on a tried and true niche genre. While offering some fun levels to partake in and the classic open-ended construction, the overall game does nothing new or exciting to elevate it above the competition. At the end of the day you’re still building bridges in the same way other games have in past decades, and so this purchase will depend on your fandom of this genre at a $14.99 price point.
Alex has been actively gaming since the release of the Nintendo. Turning passion into profession, he’s spent just over a decade in game development, and is currently the Creative Director at a studio.