Bridge Building Games Online

To bridge is to solve, and to solve is true satisfaction

A Bridge Beyond

On the whole, gaming traditionally doesn’t involve many forms of problem solving that count as true puzzles to test the mind. Many RPGs and epic adventure/quest games simply call for a grasping of the interface, the learning of a few skills, and often a hell of a lot of battling, with any logical problems or true puzzles being few and far between. The first two Tomb Raiders are an example of this, as are games of other types such as the main-series Pokémon games, first-person shooters like Half-Life 2, and countless other visually-spectacular yet cerebrally-docile styles of gaming. You can probably see where I’m going with this, which is that puzzle games are truly the way to go if you want some unadulterated and uncompromising brain-based action. There are few genres out there that exemplify and satisfy the desire for a challenge as well as the genre of the Bridge Building. Granted, it’s an extremely specific genre, but it is one that sports a few free titles that stand out from the rest in difficulty, design, and ability to have you puzzling over problems for hours on end. Granted these flash based games are no way on par with even Indie titles found on Steam such as the mind boggling and rather unique Bridge Constructor Portal, but they are worth your time if you just so happen to be on your pc and are looking for some puzzle solving casual bridge crafting fun!

True to the Name

Cargo Bridge game

If you’re looking for a game that absolutely typifies the physics-based Bridge Game and genre, it should be Limex Games’ Cargo Bridge that you first turn your attention to. The original Cargo Bridge is a game that mixes the challenge of building increasingly intricate bridges over gaps in the landscape with the tantalisingly challenging parameters of simulated physics and the budgetary constraints of many resource-management games. You are presented with a problem – which invariably comes in the form of getting your workers across a gap and back again with heavy cargo in tow – and asked to find a solution with the limited materials available. Whilst keeping an eye on your budget, you must enter blueprint mode and select between different girder types, spending as little as possible on a bridge that is as strong as you can possibly make it. I can think of no game more deserving of its place in the Bridge Game genre than Cargo Bridge, and better yet, it has become a series since the original.

For those that enjoyed Cargo Bridge in a big way, it was a great day when Cargo Bridge 2 was finally released in order to continue the bridge-building action only with a variety of improvements and a good selection of new levels to get your head around. Like the original, Cargo Bridge 2 allows you to look at the landscape that contains the gap-based problem at hand and gives you the ability to enter ‘blueprint mode’, which is where all of the work gets done. In this mode, the screen turns blue and looks identical to real-life blueprints, providing some wonderful authenticity as well as making the game look even more impressive. More importantly though, the blueprint mode is where you get all of the work done since it lets you choose between wooden and steel girders as well as other building materials to get the job done. Simply build a structure which follows the pre-placed structural points and watch your creation either succeed or fail at its job.

CB2 is far more than a simple level pack to the original since a few extra features are introduced, such as the ability to stretch your budget a little further by going over it and power-ups which allow you more freedom when you are building. Since your budget gets more challenging with every level and the load that your bridge will have to bear increases, Cargo Bridge 2 is a game that truly calls for innovation and a good amount of thinking across the board in terms of your design and the budget that restricts this design. You are basically forced to experiment with different ideas to see which one works in the end, which is one of the truly spectacular things about this sequel. Lastly, it introduces a much-awaited level editor, the inclusion of which was pretty much the only thing that the original game was missing.

Festive Free-Thinking

Though technically it does qualify merely as a level pack, the Cargo Bridge: Xmas Level Pack game is still quite an entertaining collection of challenges. This festive edition of the game manages to bring the series in line with the festive period, giving each level a wonderfully snow-capped environment and your workers a festive makeover in the process. The gameplay of course remains the same: bridge building on a budget is your only responsibility. The game begins fairly relentlessly however, with little reprieve for beginners since it is assumed that you are familiar with the previous games since you are playing what is essentially an add-on here.

It may be a little disappointing for fans of the series that this Christmas edition is merely a level pack, but the challenges keep on coming and the amount of time it will pass is quite staggering; the levels are very difficult and require quite a substantial quantity of planning if you wish to succeed without letting any of your Christmas workers plummet to their deaths and cause their families to eat Christmas dinner without them that particular year. Cargo Bridge 2 is still by far the best iteration of the series, but give this festive version a try if you wish for a bit of an aesthetic change or a break from other festive puzzle games of the likes of Sugar Sugar Christmas Special.

A Different Craft

Bridge Craft game

One of the other games in this genre that definitely deserves a mention here is Bridgecraft. This game is highly similar to the Cargo Bridge games in format, but it has a slightly different interface and is a welcome break from the fairly rigid design of  the Cargo Bridge series. Bridgecraft is sadly a standalone title since developer Picaso Games hasn’t come up with any more such gems as of yet. Bridgecraft has a noticeably different style than Cargo Bridge in that it is a little more fantastical. You are tasked with building bridges in a similar fashion but you must do so on an alien planet in order to save them from falling into cold water below. The design is much more colourful, the characters much more playful, and everything just a little more pleasant to look at.

Still, the general premise remains the same as Cargo Bridge only with a few interface changes that make all the difference. Instead of blueprint mode, you just go into build mode where you have access to wooden and steel girders as well as ropes for support; you simply use these materials to build a bridge that is sufficiently strong so that it supports the weight of the aliens attempting to cross it. The key feature that separates this game from Cargo Bridge is that you can choose to press a button that illustrates the different types of forces that are putting stress on the bridge and at what points it is weakest. This feature allows you to see where you are going wrong and correct the problem before moving on. Budget is of course a restriction as well, making this a game that requires careful planning and thought.

Wooden Path

Wooden Path game

Building bridges doesn’t all have to be about crossing chasms and large gaps; Wooden Path is a series that takes a slightly different approach and has you bridging the width of various rivers. The original Wooden Path, a game by Remivision, requires that you utilise the various pieces of wood that are on the screen to build a complete, unbroken path across the river, and all in the style of a tile-based puzzle game. There  are of course some additions which make the game more entertaining than your standard tile-based puzzle such as coloured pieces that must be moved out of the way and eventually used to activate various switches, teleportation portals that mix things up even more, and tiles that disappear when you bring them all together. The game has fifty levels split across two difficulty types, though most of the levels will be a significant challenge for anyone.

If you’re looking for a more updated and significantly improved challenge, then Wooden Path 2 is probably the best sequel you could possibly have hoped for. The game is loyal to the style of the original, only with a hefty number of improvements both visually and in terms of content. Everything looks a little smoother and more impressive, but the real money is in the vast expansion of the types of pieces that you now must utilise to solve each puzzle. In addition to the coloured tiles, teleportation stations, and gold tiles you now have colour-specific portals, dynamite to blow up blocks, tiles with patterns that must be arranged in the right order to make obstructions disappear, and directional tiles that only move in the direction that the arrow painted on them indicates. Wooden Path 2 also has a few more difficulty levels and a great number of levels to get stuck into.