Ever since I heard about Poly Bridge, I knew it would be great. I finally got round to buying and playing it. I was certainly not disappointed.
The goal of Poly Bridge is simple: build a bridge that allows traffic of various types to cross the bridge without it collapsing. The game starts off by telling you what type of traffic you’ll have to handle. Traffic can be anything from cars to massive trucks, and these will affect the design of your bridge. This is because you’ll need to add additional support on bridges that handle larger vehicles. It also tells you what materials you have access to and the budget you have to play with.
The game has a sandbox mode. This mode gives you access to an infinite budget and all materials and parts in the game. However, I found the campaign mode to be a lot more enjoyable in terms of setting up a challenge. Not only are you limited in terms of the strength of the materials available, but you also are limited in terms of budget. You cannot simply add as much supports as you want to make your bridge strong. You’ll need to look at where the stresses on the bridge lie and reinforce those areas only.
Every time you complete a mission, you get to see a replay of the success (or failure) of your bridge. There are conveniently accessible buttons that allow you to instantly push the replay to various social media sites so that others may laugh at your designs (for the good, or for the bad!). I found the replay feature to be particular useful in figuring out why my bridges failed. You can very easily narrow down the point of failure to a single piece which caused the failure of the entire bridge. Very useful when you are trying to refine the design of a fairly complex bridge.
Additionally, if you like being the best at everything, the end-game screen actually shows how your bridge fared with regards to the rest of the Poly Bridge community. Three criteria affect your final score: Budget, Joint Stress and Material Footprint. Your performance is marked as a vertical line on histograms that represent the entire population of players that have completed this level so you can get an idea of how well people solved the puzzles. This is sometimes useful in changing your way of approaching the problem. If you see that you are extremely far from the majority of the population, you can sometimes infer that there may be a better way of approaching the problem.
Poly Bridge has a significant difficulty curve. You start off with a simple bridge, using only wood, to transport only one car across. But as you get to higher levels, you’ll start dealing with heavier vehicles (requiring strong bridges). You’ll also deal with multi-directional concurrent travel (requiring multiple layers of roads) and ships. The amount of depth in the game will keep you entertained and challenged for a long time.
My only complaint about the game is how slow the actual progression is. I found, during multiple consecutive levels, the design of the bridge only had to be varied slightly. I personally would have been fine if those levels didn’t exist at all, because they add very little to the difficulty progression of the game. However, that is a minor issue I have and certainly does not take away from the value of the game.
Poly Bridge is a lot of fun, especially if you like games that require design and creativity. I highly recommend you check it out!