Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Bridge Constructor ($1.99 Universal) is a simulation game where you become an engineer on the island nation of Camatuga. And being an island nation, there are certainly plenty of bridges to reconstruct after a terrible earthquake devastates the islands.
The construction of each new bridge starts out with a set of unused base anchor points. These anchor points are crucial to the construction of the bridge as they are where you can attach the materials used to make the bridge. Each time you lay down a new piece of material, more anchor points are added for you to use. You proceed to lay down additional building materials like a snap together model until you feel that the bridge is complete. There is a virtual grid that outlines where the various building materials can be placed. You can zoom in to take a closer look at various sections of the bridge, giving you greater control over how each new section is laid out.
There are four different building materials to contend with; wood, steel, concrete and cables. Not every level can use each type of the available materials. Some levels lock out certain materials leaving you with the remaining materials to try to figure out a solution. Each material has different properties and has different costs. Keeping within budget on each level is another factor you need to contend with on each bridge you construct. Building materials cost money, and each project only has so much money to spend.
Once you think that the bridge has been constructed properly, you press the green play button to test out how sturdy your creation actually is. There are three basic tests that your bridge must pass in order to score points and advance to the next level. The first test is obvious, can the bridge hold its own weight. Designs that you have successfully used on shorter bridges, may not be strong enough when things get longer. There is a button that you can tap when playing each test mode that will show you where the various stress points are located on your bridge. Any part of the bridge that glows green is stable, yellow is questionable, and red means that the bridge is under stress and will likely break at this location.
The second test is to have two cars cross the bridge, one after another. Depending on the length of the bridge, both cars will be crossing the bridge at the same time. Once both successfully cross the bridge, you can advance to the next level. The last of the three tests is to have two trucks cross the bridge. Sometimes you just need to add an additional brace in order to pass the third and final test, but most times you will find that you have already used up all of your funds and must scrap your design and start over. Only when you pass the third test will the maximum number of points be awarded. Passing the truck test on all of the bridges for a given island will show that you have successfully completed your task for that island.
The difficulty level increases with each of the 30 levels across five different settings. This is not the sort of game that one completes quickly as each level will prove to be a series of trial and error tests that you must pass. You soon realize that you are being judged by a test that only requires the vehicles to advance in one direction. This offers up some possible design changes as you look to maximize your design in certain areas of the bridge, while maintaining your strict budgetary constraints. The physics in the game seem to be very real and is consistently applied throughout the game. So take some time this weekend and teach yourself through trial and error the basics of bridge building.