Prepare to have your brain teased, and often eaten, in the sixth outing for the Bridge Constructor franchise as it dips into AMC’s The Walking Dead universe. Developed by ClockStone STUDIO and published by Headup, Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead is a physics-based puzzle and strategy game released on Xbox, PS4, Switch, PC, and smartphone.
This is my first Bridge Constructor game, and I only managed two seasons of The Walking Dead before admitting that I had been routing for the zombies the whole time. While preparing for this review, I learned that The Walking Dead has an eleventh season set for release – big show. To me, zombies are about jump scares, claustrophobic settings, and gore, so I was intrigued as to what would be on offer here.
There are five chapters to complete, with the first essentially being a tutorial. Each level is a static 2D setting with designated areas for you to construct within. I was half expecting each mission to be kill the zombies and move on but there is good variety here. You will be asked to transport vehicles and goods, move characters from a to b, trap other survivors, and even herd zombies rather than just mash them up. You construct with three materials – wood, steel, and cable, unlocking the latter two as you progress through the campaign. On top of that, levels feature your survivors, each of which have unique abilities.
Some can throw grenades, some can shoot, some can fight. Finding the answer can be tough but construction and level planning is wonderfully easy to get to grips with. Controls are simple and forgiving, and for those that need it, there is a constructor guide which you can access any time you like. Early missions are straight forward, but as you’d expect, they increase, with consistency, in complexity – towards the halfway point you’ll wish you had an engineering degree, and by the end you’ll feel like an evil Wallace and Gromit.
This is a hard game that can be beaten in under a couple of hours but almost every construction requires patience, trial and error, and fine tuning. You can’t ride this wave on dumb luck. The flip side of this is the sense of achievement you get when you find the solutions. For the hardcore, every level has a target budget for materials used and you will earn badges if you can stick to it.
The campaign features a story, which is updated in between levels but I did not care for it. Some characters and settings from the show make appearances, but for me no one was of any interest and the narrative was nothing new or special. The dialogue, which is text only, is bland and I found myself skipping large chunks because the fun of constructing far outweighed this aspect. I feel the same about the visuals. They are fine for what the game needs, but they are not the selling point. The gameplay loop more than makes up for this.
Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead
I would recommend this game, first and foremost to Bridge Constructor fans. Walking Dead fans can take or leave it - this could just as easily have been called Bridge Constructor Zombies and all they need to change are a couple of character names. BUT the main point is this is a good game and there is a fun and challenging few hours to be enjoyed.
- Delivers exactly what you would want and expect
- The game demands creativity
- It is challenging
- Lots of patience required
- Can be beaten in under two hours
- Characters and plot are nothing special