Bridge Constructor Portal (PC) Review

Bridge over troubled water.

Bridge Constructor Portal, from ClockStone/Headup Games, is exactly the game it says it is – a bridge construction puzzle game with portals. It takes the core concept of Bridge Constructor – build a bridge in order to drive a vehicle across it – and adds all the motifs players of Portal will be familiar with. Obviously, the inclusion of turrets, portals and various hazardous substances has the effect of substantially complicating the whole bridge construction process in wild and wonderful ways.

Despite being a huge fan of Portal and a player of puzzle games in general, I can’t say that a bridge construction iteration of the beloved Valve franchise was on my ‘dream game’ wish list. However, whilst Bridge Constructor Portal is obviously not the Portal game I really want (and let’s face it, may never get), that didn’t stop this unexpected mash-up from being a very pleasant surprise.

MSRP: $9.99
Platforms: PC

Where’s the cake at?

Much like Portal, Bridge Constructor Portal tasks the player with traversing stages that become ever more complicated. The omnipresent GLaDOS is back, to hold the player’s hand and offer words of encouragement in her own unique way. This largely takes the form of instructive dialogue at the start of each stage; particularly during early levels as Bridge Constructor Portal endeavours to explain its various moving parts.

The player’s main task is to build a bridge that is sturdy enough to see at least one manned vehicle through to the exit of a given stage. Early on things are pretty basic – there’s a gap, the player creates a suspended platform, and the vehicle zooms over to the exit. With each stage, additional tools and obstacles are introduced, and the physics become more complicated. When turrets, portals, propulsion gel and companion cubes join the party, suddenly a simple platform won’t cut it. If the player wants to complete the ultimate goal of ensuring all designated vehicles reach the exit, not only will they need to navigate all these hazards, but they’ll need to ensure their carefully crafted structures don’t collapse under the additional weight.

Fortunately, the game makes it pretty easy for players to adopt a trial-and-error approach, which reduces the frustration that accompanies any initial (and subsequently repeated) failings. Similarly, Bridge Constructor Portal doesn’t attempt to unnecessarily hamper progression – only one vehicle is required to clear each stage in order to unlock the next puzzle. The game features sixty stages in total, which is certainly a solid amount of content and makes the game’s price point appealing.
If you build it, they will come.

Bridge Constructor Portal is not the Portal game many would have been expecting, but with the reassuring presence of GLaDOS and the Companion Cubes (also, coincidently, the name of my new band), it’s nevertheless enough to scratch that ‘fun with portals’ itch left in the wake of Portal 2.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

  • Bridge building with portals works
  • Competitively priced
  • Challenging
  • Comedy feels a little too forced at times
Written by
Sophie has been a gamer since that glorious decade known as the nineties. Her console of choice is the Sega Mega-Drive. She reads books, watches television, does academic stuff and likes tattoos.