On the surface I was leery of Bridgy Jones. First, the name sounds less like a game and more like a Bridget Jones’ Diary spinoff on The CW. Second, bridge constructing games don’t stir the greatest amount of excitement these days. Fortunately, what I found in Bridgy Jones was a competent, approachable and challenging puzzle game.
Bridgy Jones is set up as a typical bridge-building puzzler. Your objective is to build a bridge so that your train can go from point A to point B while not losing any of the cargo it’s hauling. In constructing bridges you have access to the obvious materials such as railroad ties and wooden planks, but you are also given more imaginative tools like pulleys, ropes, and stones. This allows you to take a varied approach to your bridge-building ways by creating drawbridges or even old-school rope bridges.
The scoring system is the typical three star system, and as expected the more points you score the more stars you earn. Not the most original method, but effective. Aside from stars, there are side objectives to complete. These objective are a nice touch and gives the game replayability and depending on your mood, a certain level of (enjoyable) frustration.
Completing all these tasks within all levels can be a herculean feat. After the first few levels, I found myself lucky to earn one star, let alone complete an objective– but still had fun nonetheless. The balance of Bridgy Jones then became apparent: A novice may partake in the game and enjoy it, not expecting to earn more than one star per level; or an expert can find great pleasure in earning the three stars and then slaving through every objective for individual levels. This game does a very good job of allowing every level of puzzler to realize their own measure of success and feel good about their accomplishments.
Bridgy Jones doesn’t have much of a story, which is more than all right. Bridgy is a gruff but friendly bridge builder with a lovable mangy mutt, and that is all that is needed. Puzzle games can be great without a story as long as the characters are likeable. Bridgy and his furry friend are just that: enjoyable enough that you don’t want to them suffer a dreary ending due to your engineering faults.
To say that Bridgy Jones is perfect wouldn’t be accurate. The graphics can be a tad dull, especially when you reach chapter two, where everything is brown with snow falling in the background. A little injection of color would have been nice. The touch controls throughout the game are effective, but as you progress rope use becomes mandatory, and placing ropes can be tedious. This often causes you to do a little backtracking to properly place the ropes.
When all is said and done, Bridgy Jones is a fine bridge building puzzler for iOS. Its strikes a nice balance of being approachable, yet challenging for gamers of all types.