Poly Bridge is a bridge construction simulator by New Zealand based developers Dry Cactus. The game is the developer’s first creation as a team and is still currently in Early Access, so the odd bug here and there should be overlooked.
The game functions really well, the cute polygon art style drawing players into the mini world that surrounds each bridge. Poly Bridge begins with a short introduction and tutorial that covers all of the in-game materials for bridge building. It’s a good length and can be replayed at any point, serving as a useful reminder.
The main campaign currently has three worlds and over thirty-six levels. In each stage, the player must build a bridge of a specific length that can take the weight of certain vehicles; scooters being very light weight, vans and school busses being much heavier. Each new car type has a little humorous introduction that matches the style of the game very well.
The first couple of levels are pretty simple, and it’s fun to connect the materials and watch the little animations of cars pootling across the bridge. The game quickly ramps up in difficulty however, and the need for absolute precision can lead to hours on certain frustrating stages. The early addition of tackling boats that move underneath or through the bridges, requiring drawbridges, can be particularly hard, and the game would possibly benefit from a hint box in each level to help any player that gets stuck.
Poly Bridge has a Sandbox area where it’s possible to build and test your own stage. It’s pretty basic at the moment and glitches meant that I was unable to save, or properly test my creations. I did have fun making them, and feel that this is something the developers will be spending a lot of time on in the near future.
The game has a number of online features, which I was unfortunately unable to test due to playing before the games release date. The score for each bridge made can be compared with that of others online, which inspires a certain amount of competition and exploration in cost-effective bridge building. It is also possible to save each replay and upload them onto the games database – and even straight to Twitter if you wish. This is an amusing function with the ability to watch where others have succeeded but also for some failed bridge building attempts and the results of them. It is a shame that this function currently only works by flicking through random videos and could have more impact if they were available to watch for each individual bridge. Having the option to upload your bridge after completing a stage and watching the attempts of others could inspire some interesting creations.
Overall, Poly Bridge is a fun game for people that have the mind for construction, engineering, and design. Unfortunately, it is a little too difficult to recommend for casual players currently, but this may soon change, while the ability to create and play Sandbox levels is sure to make for an inventive community.
Poly Bridge is currently available in Early Access on Steam.
This preview was originally part of the GamersFTW site (and went up on the 30th June 2015), the servers of which have been taken down. It now appears on GabsTannerReviews out of respect for the developers/publishers that gave me a copy to preview.