It's always cool when two video game franchises come together to make an interesting crossover. Bridge Constructor Portal is a fantastic blend of Bridge Constructor gameplay with Portal elements so let's head to the test chambers.
As a big fan of the Bridge Constructor series and the Portal franchise, I was delighted to hear that these two unlikely series were joining forces. Thankfully, the blend of the two is very well done. For starters, the classic Bridge Constructor gameplay is intact where you try your best to carefully build structures that won't break under pressure in order to deliver vehicles from the start to end points. It may take a while to tune your solutions to perfection but it's oh so satisfying whenever a plan comes together. The controls are spot-on, too, as they make building a breeze. The Portal franchise comes into play with nifty mechanics such as gels that accelerate or bounce vehicles, springboards, and, of course, portals! Having these new mechanics helps establish a much more varied gameplay dynamic and will have you thinking in completely new ways in order to solve the stages.
Bridge Constructor Portal looks and sounds great, too. The same classic Portal sense of humour is present as well as familiar assets that are sure to delight long-time fans. The audio is very well done as well with chill tunes as you build and more exciting pieces when you watch your plan execute. Meanwhile, the sound effects and odd voice from GLaDOS herself complete the soundscape and create an immersive and enjoyable atmosphere. On the downside, the visuals certainly don't change much throughout the campaign and there are frame rate problems whenever things become too intense. I hope that gets fixed in a patch because it can be quite tough to look at.
The campaign in Bridge Constructor Portal contains 60 stages which is an impressive amount considering previous entries in the series contained far less. Plus, each one can take a very long time to work out so you will likely play for hours upon hours and still have a lot to do. Anyway, each stage can be completed at a basic level by guiding one vehicle to the exit. Once you do that, you can summon a whole convoy of vehicles and if every single one of them arrives at the exit then consider that stage mastered! There's so much content to work through but to be fair, there isn't really anything to do once you master every stage.
Finally, if you're a Bridge Constructor fan like me then you may be disappointed by the simplified mechanics of Bridge Constructor Portal. For starters, previous games tasked you with coming up with solutions while ensuring that you don't go over-budget. However, you can basically spend as much money as you want in Bridge Constructor Portal without any significant repercussions. Also, there are only two material types: basic girders and cables. You can transform the girders to be platforms but there aren't any different material types to tinker around with. I guess there wouldn't be a point anyway if budget doesn't even matter.
Bridge Constructor Portal is an accessible entry in the Bridge Constructor series that cleverly incorporates elements from Portal. If you enjoy either franchise then you should definitely pick this mind-bending puzzler up.
- + Streamlined gameplay that blends Bridge Constructor and Portal beautifully
- + 60 lengthy stages to master
- + Fantastic audio and humour
- - Hardcore Bridge Constructor fans may be put off by certain simplified mechanics
- - Unvaried visuals / frame rate problems
- - Not much to do after beating every stage