Bridge Constructor Portal isn’t a rollercoaster of laughs, but it’s still good


It’s not the Portal follow-up we were expecting, but it’s the one we got. Bridge Constructor Portal is a crossover between Valve’s comedy science puzzler and the strut-straddling engineering of the Bridge Constructor series. You’re still making bridges that wobble from A to B, and sending small vehicles across your creations. However, you also have the distraction of portals, turrets, proulsion gel and catapults, as well as a passive aggressive computer that passes judgement on your techniques. It feels fruitless to review such a straightforward cocktail – it’s two flavours you may already know so let’s just see how they blend together. And the opening chapters are reassuring. This is a decent wee nugget of a puzzler.

The humour of Portal gives me mixed feelings. Instinctively, I’ve always liked it. The jokes land, the premise is silly and the characters, from GLaDOS to the softly-voiced turrets, are as darkly fun as they’ve always been. But to pretend it hasn’t suffered at the hands of our needy, grasping gaming culture is folly. I can’t remember a time when my diaphragm reacted with anything other than a sickly heave at that cake catchphrase. And yet I know there is a time that I smiled at it.

As such, Bridge Constructor’s bash at the series at least gives you some new lines at which to smile. I fear the arrival of references to old jokes (they are inevitable) but so far there’s only a strong adherence to the nomenclature of the series. Buttons are still called “heavy duty super-colliding super-buttons” and blue forcefields are still called “emancipation grills”. Fresh grins do appear when Ellen McLain’s GLaDOS is given something new to talk about, although I won’t lie, the ratio of Ugly Donkey Laugh: Exhaling Out Your Nose to gentle smile isn’t anywhere near that found in its first-person cousins. I’m willing to forgive that, however, and be happy with the sight of stickmen falling off the back of their forklifts whenever I make a bridge that unexpectedly falls to bits, especially when I send multiple forklifts in a convoy – the true test for any bridge.


You can’t choose where to place the portals, everything is already set up for you, in the fashion of a puzzle with a definitive solution. Likewise the anchor points for your bridge’s struts are welded into the environment. This means that creative solutions are limited and that process of looking around and “thinking with portals”, to use the laboratory’s classic language, isn’t present in the same way. That’ll disappoint some folks, no doubt, but I’m happy to put down my portal brain in place of my bridge brain for this one. At least for as long as the six chapters allow.

It’s a solid bridge-builder made for the purposes of some happy, healthy time-wasting, not a stopgap or cure for heartsick Portal fans. But that’s fine by me.

Bridge Constructor Portal is on Steam for £6.99


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    Drib says:

    I can’t wait for Bridge Constructor Portal 2 and then waiting for BCP3 for years and years and years.

    • Catterbatter says:

      And then surprise! Instead of that, you get Cookie Clicker Bridge Constructor Portal.

  2. FranticPonE says:

    I tried it. I got 3 boring tutorial missions in a row, didn’t laugh once, and quit. What an utter disappointment for something I didn’t even have high expectations of in the first place.

    • Tannhauser says:

      I feel you, I got 15 missions in before I had enough.

      It isn’t a good bridge building game and it isn’t a funny Portal game. There is nothing here unless you purely want to kill time and there are more enjoyable games for that.

      Honestly I’m shocked this was licensed. It is just so mediocre and surely Valve doesn’t need the money.

      • HelloInternet says:

        Why does a Portal game need to be funny? Did you think Portal 1 wasn’t good because it had low humor? Honestly a terrible point to disown a game.

  3. Foosnark says:

    Maybe it’s the sort of game you have to be visiting your in-laws’ house for three days to appreciate.

    Or perhaps, you have to have played vanilla Bridge Constructor long enough to get frustrated with it and switch over for completely different sorts of puzzles.

    I got to… I think about level 45 before I felt like I’d had enough. Too many of the puzzles are less about “how do I get from A to B?” or “how do I build something here that doesn’t collapse?”, but “what is the exact angle of ramp I need here to slow down the forklift just enough so the crate hits the switch to turn off the laser, but not so much that it can’t make the jump?” And it just becomes tedious trial and error.

  4. HelloInternet says:

    I can’t believe people are looking for comedy in any Portal game. That is truly sad.