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Poly Bridge is a mix of relaxation and frustration, and I’m addicted

by Joey Davidson | July 1, 2015July 1, 2015 11:20 am PDT

I am not an engineer. As the above GIF illustrates perfectly, I’m not very good at bridge build. I’ve toyed with the genre before, but Poly Bridge has me investing hours and hours into goofy experimentation.

It also has a replay recorder built in. That means you get ridiculous failures like the one above alongside your perfect (or not-so-perfect) completions, like the one you see below.

You hear that? That’s the smooth sound of success as my drawbridge totally worked.

Poly Bridge released on Tuesday in Early Access form on Steam. It comes from developer Dry Cactus, and it’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux for $11.99.

Don’t cringe too hard, those who don’t like Early Access games. This one was released in functioning form with a full version launch window in sight. The plan, according to the developers, is to have the full release of Poly Bridge out and in our hands this coming September.

Why Early Access, then? Well, the team answered this exact question on the game’s Steam page. They’re looking for feedback, feature requests and suggestions.

My suggestion? Add more music. There are only like two or three tracks in the game, and they reset every time you click away from the window and click back in. That, along with some minor bugs and glitches, is my biggest gripe right now. So? Until that’s fixed, I just turn on some of my own jazzy tunes and get to relaxing.

As this is a bridge builder, gameplay is essentially broken up into three pieces. First, you have to examine the space, its moving parts and its goals. In Poly Bridge, you may have to build a jump that facilitates cars moving in different directions with different weights. You may have to account for huge boats without the ability to make a drawbridge. The examination phase works just fine, and the quick start and stop nature of the simulation makes it easy to investigate.

Building is where things get a touch hairy. It’s easy enough to select tools and draw them out. You eventually earn the ability to turn the snap-to-grid on or off making freestyle play a bit easier. My complaint is that you’ll often start designing and get hit with a “too far” warning when connecting features like wood and steel. Then you’ll have to move or delete your previous work in order to get things set up correctly. I’d rather the game just smartly corrected the spacing than have me do it myself.

The final phase is the simulation. The aforementioned ability to record and post gameplay to Twitter from within the game is really nice, and I’ve enjoyed checking the game generated #PolyBridge hashtag for hilarity in between rounds.

Poly Bridge needs polish. It’s in Early Access for a reason. However, I have no problem with the state of the game or how much they’re asking for it. You can create your own levels in the sandbox mode, and you can even download and upload within the community once you finish the campaign. You don’t have to finish the campaign before using the features, I’m just saying that there’s plenty more where the campaign came from.

More vehicles, more boat types, more level pieces, more music and more polish could make this bridge builder darn near perfect, though. If Dry Cactus can get it done, I could see a great entry in the genre for fans and non-fans (like myself) alike.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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