Bridge Constructor review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Xbox One
Publisher: Headup Games
Developer: ClockStone Software/Stage Clear Studios
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I’m not sure what it says about me that my biggest complaint about Bridge Constructor is that, when your bridges inevitably collapse, there are no little screams of terror as the cars and trucks driving over go plunging into the yawning chasms below.

I realize that’s pretty morbid of me, but in my defense, that’s, like, half the appeal of most simulation games, as far as I’m concerned: seeing what kind of destruction you can cause. And considering that the whole point of a game like Bridge Constructor is, as the name implies, constructing bridges strong enough for vehicles to drive over, there’s ample room for destruction. For this game not to embrace that fact is a bit of a missed opportunity.

That’s about the only missed opportunity, though, because otherwise Bridge Constructor works really well. In marked contrast to the console versions, which most people (our own Chris Dunlap aside) seem to have found a little lacking, its gameplay is tailor-made for the Vita. This shouldn’t be too surprising; after all, if there’s one thing that mobile gaming has proven, it’s that gaming on the go and physics puzzlers are a match made in heaven. But still, if you’ve ever wanted a good example of why handheld and console gaming are different, you’ll find it in a game like Bridge Constructor.

In fact, the reasons why it works so well here probably double for reasons why the game would be less enjoyable on a console. The levels are short and to-the-point, but at the same time, designed in such a way that you’ll want to come back to them again and again until you’ve aced them. The controls, while not wholly intuitive, still don?t take much time to figure out, and this version is helped greatly by the fact it can also borrow the mobile edition?s touch controls. The visuals are simple and uncluttered, which probably comes across a lot better on the Vita?s smaller screen than it would on a full-sized TV screen.

I don?t want to overhype Bridge Constructor, by any means. It?s not a console-style experience, depth-wise (or in any other way, either). But you know what? On the Vita, it doesn?t need to be — it just needs to be a fun, addictive experience that you can play in short bursts, and it delivers on that front perfectly.

Grade: B