Bridge Constructor Playground (PC) (2014)

Overview: Build bridges over valleys, canals, and rivers. Sequel to Bridge Constructor.*

*Although the game is a sequel, several reviews say its purpose is to serve as an intro to players new to the bridge building genre.



20191116 Comment:
I see screenshots on 20160225 from 2:57 AM to 3:33 AM (36 minutes) and (three) on 20190524 from 11:31 PM (first) to 11:53 PM (second and third) (22 minutes). Meanwhile, according to Steam I've played for 35 minutes and that I last played on 20190524. To top it all off, I unlocked three achievements on 20170116 and one achievement on 20190524; I suspect the three achievements on 20170116 are a result of playing on 20160225 while offline which registered when for whatever reason I ran the game on 20170116. In summary, I estimate the total game time as 1 hour: 36 minutes on 20160225 and 35 minutes on 20190524.

Steam Game Time: 35 minutes (total game time)
Estimated Total Game Time: 1 hour

20191116:
Today I put in a couple of hours into the game and the main thing I realized was the importance of using certain structures to relieve stress. In short, press play to identify components of the bridge which are under the most stress and determine the primary forces which are causing them. Then build something which will counter the forces identified.


Gameplay Log:
Completed all the levels with Car Stickers and Truck Stickers.
Working on Material Constraints for all the levels.
Stuck on Material Constraints for Northern Reef Bridge 8

Steam Game Time: 4.6 hours (total game time) / 4.0 hours (session game time)

20191117:

Gameplay Log:
Session 1
I solved Material Constraints for Key Mahooti Bridge 4 by implementing a strategy I realized earlier today: Add a bunch of excess joints. For example instead of a simple \/ coming from a single vertex, one can do \\|//. In coordinate form, where the vertex is (0, 0), then the one can extend wood beams out to (-2, 4), (-1, 4), (0, 4), (1, 4), and (2, 4). In one puzzle, I had those beams as well as (-2, 2), (2, 2), (3, 2), and (4, 2).


Completed all the levels with Material Constraints. [Edit: I thought I got Material Constraints for Northern Reef Bridge 8 but in actuality I spent too much money.]
I was close to giving up on Money Saver for Tutoria Bridge 5 but then came back and solved it.
Completed Material Constraints for Northern Reef Bridge 8.
Give up on Money Saver for Northern Reef Bridge 5, 7, and 8. (Being sleepy certainly doesn't help.)
Session 2
Took a break and returned to the game.
Decided to work on the Safety First.
Give up on Safety First for Tutoria Bridge 8.

Steam Game Time: 6.3 hours (total game time) / 1.7 hours (session 1 game time)
Steam Game Time: 7.4 hours (total game time) / 1.1 hours (session 2 game time)*


*Some time spent idle and some time spent occupied by apartment maintenance

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Instruction helpful for beginners
+ Visualization of the load is neat and useful

Neutral:
~ The physics is just passive; there's no instruction on how to distribute stress and load which can potentially make the game difficult for the average player

Minor Cons:
- No confirmation to override a previously saved layout
- No fast forward button; this might be a limitation of the engine they use to model the stress as the cars/truck pass the bridge.


- Sound option can only be toggled from main menu.
- No redo button (to pair with undo).
- I understand that I can just right click to remove an element but I think an eraser tool would be more transparent to a user

Summary:
In terms of difficulty, Bridge Constructor Playground is occasionally challenging. Explicitly, some of the levels have challenging side goals; that is, for a some of the levels, at least one of "Money Saver," "Safety First," or "Material Constraints" is requires some thought.

At the moment I don't know how the game compares to Bridge Constructor. I've read that it introduces certain gameplay mechanics to help out newer players. However, I find it odd that a game geared towards beginners lacks some of the minute details that a beginner player would expect (as mentioned in my list of minor cons).

Bridge Constructor Playground (PC) (2014)


Relevant Links:
Bridge Constructor (Wikipedia.org)
Bridge Constructor Playground (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Bridge Constructor Playground (steamdb.info)
Bridge Constructor Playground (Steam Store Page)
Nov2014 9.99 9.99 1.99

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