Simulators now a days seem to be over saturating the market. Whether they’re about farming or absurdly flexible goats, most seem to be lacking any spirit or soul, but a new title from Dry Cactus called Poly Bridge changes that. Poly Bridge is a fun little bridge simulator that’s great for killing time when you feel smart enough to handle it. It may look like a kids games from a distance, but once you face some of the challenges this game presents, you will definitely think otherwise.
If you’re familiar with the mobile game formula, it’s the same way in Poly Bridge. There are a series of areas with twelve levels within each. You don’t have to beat them all, but you must complete at least a certain number of levels to progress to the next area, which is nice if you’re stuck on a level (I guarantee it’ll happen at least once). Have your YouTube walkthroughs ready because I sure did need it at certain points in the game.
Each level is laid out in a style where there’s two pieces of land with a gap of water in between them. On each slab of land there’s up to one or two cars with the objective to simply build a working bridge under a specific amount of money. You’ll have a small pool of materials at your disposal, (such as wood, steel, cables) and with each material costing different amounts of money. This won’t be a problem in the beginning of the campaign (as it’s very lenient), but later on it become quite hard and almost seemingly impossible to keep it all under budget. Alought I don’t see the point of keeping it under budget unless you’re a completionist.
Each level in Poly Bridge will limit you on materials which can be a pro and a con. Limiting materials forces the playing to build a bridge the way the game wants you to build it and creates more of a linear experience for the player in an already linear game, but if you don’t like it that way, then there’s always a sandbox mode.
Sandbox mode is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a mode where you are given an empty slate and you’re open to create as many stages as you want, and you can do it all to your hearts content. The tools are the same a developer would use, and you have all the freedom they do. You even use vehicles not accessible in the campaign, such as the dump truck or an old vintage car. Anything can be created, like an easy stroll with a huge suspension bridge or maybe a mega monster truck jump over a hot air balloon. If you can think it, you can most likely build it in Poly Bridge.
Poly Bridge right out of the gate screams personality. Poly Bridge uses a unique paper craft art style to it’s advantage that creates a very relaxed and calm tone for the game, and because you’re going to be in charge of crossing people across your bridge, it gives the absolute destruction of your bridge along with the inevitable doom of the motorists almost no weight to it once so ever, so don’t worry about feeling bad when things don’t go to plan. Which is also part of the fun.
Sometimes when you accidently start the simulation early, just watching the car drive off the edge into their doom makes you chuckle and almost makes you want to just build a huge disaster just to see the mayhem, but that’ll happen whether you want it too or not, and you get to do it all to small, yet beautiful soundtrack as well.
The music in the game is short, simple, and sweet. It consists of only six short songs filled with stringed instruments and percussion, fitting the light hearted tone of the game. More songs would definitely appreciated tough since they do get quite repetitive after a while and you’d rather mute it in parts where you need to concentrate.
Dry Cactus definitely has a focus on community with Poly Bridge. Players can upload replays of their epic failures or successes to a gallery online for all to see or view and awe upon. You can then rate and share them for all to see on the Poly Bridge website.
Sandbox mode also fits into the community aspect as well. You can then upload your bridge puzzles online for other fellow architects to take a whack at solving. Like any other game where you can build and share your work, you will see some extremely impressive works of art; as well as creating your own.
Poly Bridge isn’t anything that will keep you on your heels or keep your attention for hours on end, but it is something you should take a shot at if you ever feel like doing some tough thinking or are ever even interested in being an architect for that matter. For the price, it’s worth the challenging levels as well as the free ones coming in the future. So if you feel up to the task, the challenge of Poly Bridge may just be the right game for you.