App Reviewed on: iPhone 4s
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Bridgy Jones is a physics-based puzzle game much like World of Goo. In the game, players build bridges to allow a redneck train conductor deliver his cargo. To do this, players get sets of materials (e.g. planks, track, rope, etc.) to build their bridge, and then they have to be the guinea pigs themselves, driving the train across whatever zany set of structures they've created. This gameplay makes players alternate being a civil engineer and a train conductor, and both play together well thanks to smart design, clever puzzles, and a charming sense of style.
Players are tasked with helping train conductor Bridgy and sidekick mutt Bonner deliver their cargo-loaded trains across chasms throughout the game world. Each level begins by showing an overview of the map. Then players enter the building phase where they can experiment with building techniques to their heart's content. In this mode, Bridgy Jones plays like a great sandbox. Players are free to test different ways of combining materials to build either traditional or non-traditional structures. Although the end goal is to have all your materials linked such that the bridge holds together as the train crosses, sometimes it's just fun to build a ramp to nowhere or see how few materials can be used to just barely make it through the level. Fortunately, the game designers anticipated the fun to be had through experimentation, so there are in game rewards for players wanting to find multiple solutions to the same stage.
After a structure is built, players get control of Bridgy's train. The on screen controls change from the building menu to allow players to either move the train forward or backward. Thanks to hazards like toll bridges and icy tracks, the challenge of maneuvering the train is in manipulating its speed appropriately in addition to making it across user-generated structures. Admittedly, this part of the game is a little bit less sophisticated (and usually more frustrating) than the building portion, but the manual control of the train is specifically what allows for players to experiment more with bridge designs than an auto-piloted train would, making it feel necessary nonetheless.
As players progress through the game, they receive additional building materials, as well as other environmental hazards. All of these elements force players to adopt new strategies for bridge-making that keep the experience feeling fresh throughout. This, combined with the game's polished cartoon aesthetic, competent physics engine, and neat touches like a magnifying glass view that helps players see where--exactly--they are placing their materials, make Bridgy Jones easy to recommend to puzzler enthusiasts.