Who Needs a Crossbow When You Can Build a Bridge?
I discovered the Bridge Constructor series of games about a year ago. It happened when my brother-in-law first showed me the game during a stay for the holidays. Though it’s a genre of gaming that’s been around since the early 2000s, I never really paid much attention to the series, its genuinely complicated puzzle mechanics or its recent resurgence in popularity around Europe in the mid-2010s. Which was a shame because bridge builders are honestly an interesting concept. Much like other design simulators, bridge building games focus on managing resources to achieve a goal. In this case, it’s trying to build a bridge across a gap usually over unsteady ground, focal points, or really anywhere without a steady foundation. It’s a fun puzzle-solving challenge based on physics and mental ingenuity. And though it’s really not my cup of tea as I’m horrible at math, geometry, and really any sort of engineering, when Bridge Constructor threw in Walkers from one of my favorite horror series, The Walking Dead, I was sold. The zombiephile in me caused me to ignore my reservations and try out Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead for myself. Low-and-behold, it actually proved to be a lot of fun.
Developed by ClockStone and published by Headup Games, Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead released on November 11th. It’s a mix of the puzzle-solving construction that Bridge Constructor is well known for, but set in the zombie apocalypse. The game follows some fan-favorite characters from The Walking Dead such as Michonne, Daryl, and especially Eugene, as they put down Walkers and try to find their way to safety, all while building bridges and setting elaborate traps along the way. All for a lengthy and challengingly fun experience well worth the game’s low cost.
Must The Walking Dead Mindlessly Slap Their Brand Onto Everything?
The Walking Dead brand has certainly felt exploitive these past few years, having no shame putting its brand on almost anything in development. From television series to merchandise, video games, and even an adult toy line (of figurines!), the acclaimed series has taken the modern zombie to its ultimate height in the pop culture zeitgeist. Doing anything and everything possible with its undead theme. That said, I actually don’t mind how the series exploits itself, and I think fans who still very much love the brand (myself included) won’t mind yet another Walking Dead themed product. But as weird as this sounds, even for non-fans of the zombie genre, this game’s experience comes off as surprisingly fun by adding an entirely new layer of options to the bridge-building gameplay. Not unlike the Bridge Constructor: Portal variant that debuted to much acclaim years ago.
You see, Build Constructor: The Walking Dead incorporates the use of different protagonists from the acclaimed horror series. These characters work sort of like heroes that need to be given commands in order to move around the map, operate contraptions, utilize bombs, and even slay zombies. Every level features a bridge-building puzzle for your heroes and vehicles to maneuver around in areas where walkers need to be either slain or avoided. There’s also a bit of a campaign storyline throughout the game, though it’s ultimately nothing all that compelling outside of its occasionally fun dialogue crafted in service to the series. Because reading a Eugene line makes us immediately think of him speaking in that geeky overly-polite yet also overly-confident fashion.
But Can I Triangle That Square?
Like a good old PlayStation controller, most of the bridge-building series is all about utilizing those triangles, X’s, and Squares, as every puzzle is about constructing beams into these particular shapes for stable geometry. Like other bridge building games, each zone features a puzzle that needs to be resolved by utilizing a limited amount of wood, steel and cable, while taking into account weight and balance for building bridges. If you can finish a level while going under the maximum amount of resources needed, you get a little trophy star for that level. Indeed, this one has some very challenging level designs. It’s not always just about the bridges, as much as it is getting your heroes across and even stopping zombies. And though the goal is to get characters from points A to B, having to navigate the post-apocalyptic hordes of Walkers adds a degree of tension that’s unique to this variation of bridge-building. Once you get the hang of it, it’s genuinely a lot of fun, as you get to creatively build bridges while designing explosives and traps in abandoned cities. Likewise, the physics in this game are still on par with the best of the series including its Portal variant. Though I will admit seeing Walkers go ragdoll across the screen from an explosion or car collision is a lot of fun.
A Fun Build For The End Of The World
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead is pretty great. The bridge-building is challenging and the Walkers introduce a very Angry Birds style gameplay element. For its low price point of 9.99, you really cannot beat that level of entertainment.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC (Reviewed), Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Google Play, and the App Store; Developer: ClockStone; Publisher: Headup Games; Players: 1; Released: November 19th, 2020; ESRB: T for Blood, Language, and Violence; MSRP: $9.99
Editor’s note: The publisher provided a review copy to Hey Poor Player.