Ever dreamed of having a career as an architect and stuntman at the same time?
Following up from the previous game Bridge Constructor, developers Clockstone Studio port its sequel Bridge Constructor Stunts from mobile devices to the current generation of consoles. If you haven’t played the original the concept was simple, build a bridge to allow your vehicle to get from A to B. Building on the original (see what I did there?) Bridge Constructor Stunts in its basic format is more of the same. Only this time, as the title would suggest, you need to pull off a few stunts along the way.
No story accompanies the multitude of levels in front of you and you’re introduced to each new game mechanic with on screen instructions as and when you come across them for the first time, so it doesn’t feel overwhelming despite its reliance on text. The levels start off easy enough enabling you to find your feet with newly learned mechanics and the basics of building. Every level has two elements to juggle, first off before you start attempting what lays in wait you will need to build a path, or bridge in this case. I use the term bridge loosely, it’s not as simple as building a normal bridge from one side to the other, the constructions are more ramp shaped allowing you to leap across gaps and pull off flips in the air; Ramp Constructor Stunts just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Once the path is built switch to control mode to control your vehicle and attempt to drive to the finish line, switching back to construction mode for further tweaks when your plans don’t work out or if your construction isn’t robust enough to hold the weight of your vehicle. Be prepared to switch back and forth quite often.
Whilst the on screen instructions help introduce you the games mechanics the gameplay still feels overly complicated and the controls are not intuitive enough to help aide you. Building the (ramps) bridges to help you leap across gaps and danger can be complicated; at times it felt you need an architect’s degree to ensure your building stays built. The game provides you with building points that can be built on, circles on the ground indicting where materials can be attached, the rest (including how to build it) is it up to you. Selectable building materials vary from wood, to steel and steel wire each with their own strengths. It’s easy enough to build a high ramp to achieve a high jump, but the complication comes down to making sure the ramp is sturdy enough to hold its weight, it’s all about structure, however throw in a budget constraint and red zones on the map which cannot be built on and you raise the difficulty level further still, to a point where it almost becomes frustrating and boring. This all comes about after repeating a build time and time again, attempting different ways of completing a jump, only to see it crumble due to the weak structure or when driving only to fall short realising the ramp or whatever it may be, isn’t quite steep or long enough. It would have been nice for some hints along the way or a little help with on screen suggestions on the best way forward. Some may argue it would make the game too easy and I did manage some cleaver intricate creations along the way to success on some levels; however this was after a large amount of time wasted before trying other methods, sometimes it felt like giving up.
The above screenshot is the perfect example of how intricate the game can be and this is a level relatively early on. The screenshot gives the solution; however take a look at how the solution has been put together. Now imagine all the ramps coloured green are not there and this is your canvass on which to build on when you first start a level. Yes you are able to get creative and travel to the finish line the way that you want to. Throw in some unnecessary collectables doted on maps that must be collected to be able to complete certain levels and it takes a degree of your creativity away from you, as do the completely random red zones. Maybe it’s just me, I managed to struggle by on the level above, however it was nowhere near as intricate as the screenshot. This could be seen as a positive, inspiration if you will, if that is the level of detail achievable then what other creative ramps, jumps or loop the loops could be created to get to the finish line?
Graphically the game is bright and colourful with scenes starting off on construction sites, moving onto deserts, snowy mountains and more. It’s not pushing the capability of this generation of consoles by any stretch, but it does the job and should be expected as a port from mobile devices. The generic guitar riffs that play in the background would have been perfectly acceptable whilst playing on your smartphone to pass time however they are uninspiring and quickly become repetitive when playing on the big screen.
Throughout this review I’ve criticised the difficulty and that’s not because I don’t appreciate a challenge. However when the difficulty gets in the way of fun and restricts your creativity then you get a feeling that it really is the problem here. Without a budgetary constraint and the inexplicable red zones your creativity would open up and the game would also be a little easier. If you enjoy a challenge and understand the premise of construction then you will likely enjoy Bridge Constructor Stunts, for everyone else it’s not a bad game as long as you bring your patience and ready your brain for a test.
Bridge Constructor Stunts was provided to us by Xbox via a download code for Xbox One.