Despite the Portal series being years old now, it has become one of those games which at least everyone has played once, or is in some way familiar with. They know that entering one portal will have you coming out the other, and vice-versa. They know the cake is a lie, and GLaDOS isn’t as nice as she makes out she is.
What we are lacking though is another true Portal game. We had something close with The Turing Test but it slightly missed the mark, and didn’t really have portals, it was just a series of room-based puzzles which got pretty old after a while. In comes Bridge Constructor, a game which has players, well, constructing bridges, scoring a partnership with Valve to bring the Portal world to life. Introducing Bridge Constructor Portal.
With Bridge Constructor Portal, players not only have to create complex bridge constructions suitable enough to transport cargo, but also figure out how to navigate their way through several pre-configured Portals.
While I haven’t played the original Bridge Constructor game, I am familiar with its concept and other games like it. It’s a fantastic puzzle game which tests your brain with building points between two seemingly impossible start and end goals. It’s one of those games which at first looks almost unsolvable, but after a few minutes of testing (and failing) you quickly see where you’re going wrong and correct it. It’s a game of trial and error, really.
Throw in Portals and the game just becomes insanely whacky. Take the original Bridge Constrictor concept and turn it on its head, because that’s what Bridge Constructor Portal really is. Now, as well as having seemingly impossible-to-reach goals, you’ve got to deal with the complexity of portals sending your vehicles from one location to another. Not only that, you’ve got other aspects of Portal thrown in there too like Companion Cubes and Turrets.
All of these come together to create a pretty insane puzzle game that has you thinking the furthest outside the box you’ve ever thought. Now, as well as making sure your structures can support a vehicle, or multiple vehicles, driving across, you have to now make sure they can support a vehicle crashing down onto it from across the level, or being able to spring back through the bridge after flying through a portal. It’s absolute madness, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Bridge Constructor Portal adds a refreshing take on the bridge construction genre. The safety of your structure no longer matters, what matters is getting your cargo to that sweet-sweet end goal. Hell, if you’re feeling a bit dangerous, attempting to get all of the cargo to the end goal, even if it means completely switching-up the way you build your bridges.
The game also manages to inject itself with that tongue-in-cheek humour from the Portal series which is fantastic, what’s more with Ellen McLain reprising her role as GLaDOS, it has the authentic feel you got from the first game when we discovered that it didn’t really care that much about you, or your safety. In fact, it almost relishes in your failure, and that’s exactly the same with Bridge Constrictor Portal.
Fortunately the game isn’t actually that punishing. The most torturous parts are simply getting the bridges or ramps you’ve carefully constructed to line up just so. There’s plenty of tweaking to be had, and that at times can become quite tedious, but it’s not a great issue, just part of the game. You’ll often find that you’ve come up with the solution, but the work comes in the form of ensuring the bridge doesn’t collapse too soon or you miss the gap.
Overall, Bridge Constructor Portal is a pretty interesting and worthy crossover. If you’re a fan of the first Bridge Constructor game, or even Portal, there’s plenty of fun to be had.