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Bridge Constructor Portal released with same-day Linux support, some thoughts

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Bridge Constructor Portal [Steam] is the latest from developer ClockStone and publisher Headup Games that pulls in the Portal franchise from Valve. It’s now out, here’s some thoughts.

Portal is back! Okay—not quite. The next great Portal game this may not be, but it is a mildly amusing puzzle game.

Disclosure: Key provided by the publisher. Thoughts based on the Linux build available before release. Also, it's Steam-only, the publisher told me they have no plans for a GOG release.

Sadly, I got less time than expected on this one as the Linux version only started to work properly the night before release. However, I've put as much time into it as possible to gather some thoughts.

If I’m going to be totally honest, this is the first Bridge Constructor game I’ve actually played myself. I’ve never been too interested in them, but as a massive Portal fan I couldn’t pass this up. The style of the game is really fantastic, I think they successfully captured the feel of Portal, while being clear it's a different game to the classics. 

For a game that makes use of Portal, to the point that the publisher said Valve “collaborated” on it, I was quite surprised by the initial introduction scene not having some kind of funny voice over. It was mildly amusing to read, but disappointing going in. That’s the problem when you take a beloved franchise and use it in your own games, you’re setting a high bar to follow.

However, all that disappointment suddenly vanished when I got into the first test chamber—hello robotic voice of GLaDOS (Ellen McLain), how I’ve missed you! The way she says “bridge”, I could have died from giggling.

I'm not sure I should be allowed to design bridges…

In Bridge Constructor Portal you're not just dealing with two portals, there will at times be multiple giving you an extra challenge to figure out where they all go. On top of that, you're working your way around lasers, those hilarious little turrets, jump pads and more. It can result in some rather silly consequences, but luckily failure isn't punishing on the player, it's a game that very much invites you to fail over and over again. You can try each level as many times as you wish, you can build and remove parts at will, so it's quite satisfying when you really manage to get it working good enough. Your designs don't have to be perfect and who cares if they fall apart after, as long as you reach the exit.

I did feel like they didn’t use GLaDOS to its full potential. It’s the little things, like no one calling me stupid when I let my vehicles fall into pools of acid, but what's there is quite amusing. I just felt like it needed a little more humour over all.

I give you this video of my failure, to my triumph and quickly back to total failure again…

From an early level, since I don't want to spoil how to solve much of it.

As you can see in that video, a little feature for those who really want to test themselves is to send out a convoy of trucks. It's not just the weight of the vehicles to take into consideration then, it's also the risk of collision when levels make you cross-over the paths to reach the exit. This way, you can really see if your designs will hold up, naturally mine don't and it often ends in fiery disaster.

I think it’s pretty safe to say I’m quite a fan! I’ve had a lot of fun with it, in fact some of it has truly made me laugh, although that’s mainly at how stupid I am when I watch the utter failure of my designs.

If you liked the previous Bridge Constructor games it's a solid decision to pick it up. For those of you not usually interested, it's a damn fine game overall with some really interesting puzzle mechanics. Thanks to the pacing of the game, it never managed to annoying me, only fry my brain a little.

9 Likes, Who?
11 comments
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Leopard 20 December 2017 at 1:01 pm UTC
Wishlisted.

Though i never played a bridge construction game ;i will buy it for the sake of Portal and first day release
lucifertdark 20 December 2017 at 3:35 pm UTC
I'm about to attempt level 10 so your design has given me some interesting pointers on what not to do.
Eike 20 December 2017 at 4:25 pm UTC
The local subway TV had a news page about it. They didn't mention Linux among the supported systems, though.
tuubi 20 December 2017 at 5:56 pm UTC
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I know I kind of shat on the Bridge Constructor series in a comment to a previous article on this game, but I think I just can't pass it up. The first couple of games were pretty abysmal, but at least Bridge Constructor Medieval was entertaining enough. And Portal is love.
Philadelphus 20 December 2017 at 8:55 pm UTC
"liamdawe"[T]his is the first Bridge Constructor game I’ve actually played myself. I’ve never been too interested in them, but as a massive Portal fan I couldn’t pass this up.
This is pretty much me; I've been aware of the series for years yet never interested enough to buy one, but I just picked this one up. They captured the art style pretty well in my opinion and it looks great. Can't wait to interact with all the zany Aperture Science devices (tonight, after work )!

Edit: I just discovered that, for now at least, buying Bridge Constructor Portal also gives you the original Bridge Constructor for free. Just FYI. No info on how long it'll last.


Last edited by Philadelphus at 20 December 2017 at 8:58 pm UTC
Asu 20 December 2017 at 11:28 pm UTC
I will get this on mobile first. I want Portal to come with me even to the toilet lol...
Donkey 21 December 2017 at 7:33 pm UTC
Bought it and enjoyed playing it. At level 13 I tried to build a cable-stayed bridge just for fun but it turned out that the support beams used to construct the towers couldn't handle the weight of the bridge itself. The game is entertaining to play and the simple mechanisms makes it easy to get into. After finishing a level it is hard to resist the temptation of just doing one more level.
Philadelphus 23 December 2017 at 2:02 am UTC
I've been enjoying it so far, though I've only had time to reach level 8 so far. The first couple of levels ease you in with tutorials, which is nice as someone who hasn't played a Bridge Constructor game before.

I like how while building everything's shown in a 2D view, but when you go to test it out the camera subtly shifts into a 3D perspective where you can pan around and zoom in on the little forklifts careening around the level. You can even pause at any time if you want to admire a particularly cool or funny scene. Especially in this 3D mode the game manages to capture a lot of the look and feel of the Portal universe, and everything looks pretty good. (The portals themselves could perhaps have stood to have a little more work put into them, but I can appreciate that they're not using the Source engine and recreating the look might have been more work than it's worth; and they don't actually detract much from the view, in my opinion.)

In terms of writing humor, well…it's no Valve dialog, but I have found myself chuckling now and then, and I appreciate that they actually got Ellen McLain in for the voice acting; it's a nice touch.
Swiftpaw 24 December 2017 at 6:41 am UTC
Gamepads seem to be broken right now. Zoom in trigger and D-pad are both broken on all controllers it seems. At least SCs and my F310 don't work.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/684410/discussions/0/1621724915770873231/
Zuiron 31 December 2017 at 2:51 pm UTC
i bought it because first day linux support AND its actually fun i posted a recommended review on steam.
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