Bridge Builder

Bridge Builder

Infobox VG| title = Bridge Builder

developer = Chronic Logic
publisher = Chronic Logic
designer =
engine =
version =
released = 2000
genre = Puzzle
modes = Single player
ratings =
platforms = Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
media = Download
requirements =
input = Mouse, Keyboard

Bridge Builder is a series of computer games developed and published by Chronic Logic. "Bridge Builder" is the first in the series, followed by "Pontifex", "Pontifex 2" (later renamed to "Bridge Construction Set"cite web |url= |title= Chronic Logic website |accessdate=2008-05-23 |format= |work= ] ), and "Bridge It". The object of each game is to construct a bridge which a train may cross over, given a limited budget and available materials. "Bridge Builder", which is no longer supported, is freeware and entirely two-dimensional, while its sequels use all three dimensions, but are considered demoware; the full version must be purchased from Chronic Logic's online store.


Each level is composed of a section of land, such as a river or chasm, and an initially laid track that shows the train's starting and ending points. A number of anchor points in and around the chasm are where the player anchors the bridge from. Should the player's train cross the bridge successfully and under budget, the level is passed. Later games add additional constraints such as a boat that must pass underneath between two consecutive train crossings.

Although "Bridge Builder" only allows the player steel beams, bridges in later instalments can be created using a variety of materials. Along with varying strengths of steel, the player can also use cable or hydraulics that expand or contract for some purpose, such as to allow a ship to pass underneath the bridge. In all games, the player is constrained by a budget that determines the maximum amount of material that can be used and still pass the level.

There is no penalty for failing a level; the player may try and test infinitely many different designs before finding one that succeeds. A poorly-designed bridge may break as soon as the player begins to test it, unable to support its own weight. While testing the bridge, the stress on each section can be seen, representing both tensile stress and compressive stress. If the stress becomes too great, that section breaks and disintegrates, possibly jeopardizing the entire structure.

Reception and Legacy

"Pontifex 2" won the Independent Games Festival Audience Award in 2003.cite web |url= |title= Finalists and Winners |accessdate=2008-05-23 |work= The 2003 Independent Games Festival] In praise of the original "Bridge Builder"'s flexibility, stated "the sheer variety of solutions provide more entertainment than expected and Bridge Builder quickly becomes less of a game and more of a toy." [cite web |url= |title= Freeloader: Puzzle Games |accessdate=2008-05-23 |last= Sharkey |first= Scott |date= 2005-03-01 |work= |publisher=] Peter Stock, creator of Armadillo Run, cited "Bridge Builder" as an inspiration for his game. [cite web |url= |title= Interview: Peter Stock, Armadillo Run|accessdate=2008-05-23 |format= |date = 2006-06-20|work= Fun-Motion ] Chronic Logic also sponsors multiple contests to see who can build the best bridge. [cite web |url=|title= Free Bridge Construction Set ATI Contest|accessdate=2008-05-23 |format= |date = 2006-06-19|work= InsideMacGames ]

In 2006 creator Alex Austin released an updated version of "Bridge Builder", known as "Bridge Building Game", adding more levels and options.


"Bridge Builder" comes with fifteen levels, though over a hundred fan-made levels are available for downloading. Contests sponsored by Chronic Logic are held every few months, with the winner(s) receiving a free Chronic Logic game.


Further reading

* [ Interview of Josiah Pisciotta] regarding "Bridge It".
* [ Interview with Chronic Logic] on GameDev.
* [ Review of Pontifex] on
* [ Review of Pontifex] on
* [ Interview with Chronic Logic] on InsideMacGames
* [ Interview with Chronic Logic] on
* [ Review of Bridge Construction Set] on

External links

* [ Chronic Logic Website]
* [ Bridge Builder website]

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