Bridge ME – Casual, but Playable

bridge_ME_gameBridge ME – Casual, but Playable

Bridge ME is a casual one-button game in which the player holds down that one button to build a stack of blocks to cross pits that appear them. The idea is to build them neither too long or too short, lest your character fall into a pit. If your eyes function on even a basic level, you’ll have no trouble with Bridge ME except for the bonus stages which appear every seventh pit. It does increase in difficulty as you progress but only the bonus stages present any serious challenge.

There is infinite time available for each move you make, so don’t feel rushed, except in some of the bonus stages where it’s necessary. People possessing experience with mathematics will probably have an even easier time at it. I was a plumber on and off for eleven years and I never got any good at eyeballing measurements. Still, the game is too easy (but not as easy as Wild Kiwi) except for the bonus stages. I realize that this is the nature of deliberately casual games, but there is still room for expansion.

One area where Bridge ME could stand improvement is variety. Pressing one button grows tedious; there could be all sorts of modes. Bonus stages only (or at least let players practice them), or have a completely invisible mode, or change the perspective or rotate the screen. Any of these would add at least a little bit of depth to the game, but they probably aren’t practical to program/implement nor would they be appreciated by the average player, so it’s probably just wishful thinking on my part.

The visuals are as basic as the gameplay but they are functional. There is no room for misunderstanding what a chunk of green grass is, nor the brown bridge that you quickly construct in order to cross pits to reach it. Higher production values would have no effect here; what there is is acceptable. The focus should instead be on improving the stagnant gameplay by at least adding some options.

The author says that Bridge ME has been compared to Flappy Bird on other reviews, but aside from the single button gameplay they’re not actually similar. The former hardly tests reflexes, rather relying more on your ability to gauge depth and angles. Must all casual games forever live within the shadow of Flappy Bird? Not all casual games are the same; some involve falling blocks or lining up jewels instead of corridor running. The thing Bridge ME has most in common with Flappy Bird is stuff stolen from Mario games (the coin sound, in this case). Casual gamers’ reference pools must be about as big as the ponds left in my hometown’s thousands of potholes after the morning dew.

Conclusion

Once again I recognize that I am not the target audience for this. My idea of a casual game is playing Spelunky while listening to a podcast making fun of internet crazies. I just can’t be entertained by these cup-and-ball Android/iStore apps that feel like they should microgames in a Wario Ware title, at least not longer than it takes to use the toilet. Build ME is not up my alley, but it does what it does (casual, easy, straightforward gaming with no real penalty for failure) reasonably well.

About Lee

Lee Laughead writes stuff about video games. Read his Twitter at https://twitter.com/Mesarphelous even though Twitter sucks.
Android, Commissioned, Self-Indulgent Nonsense You Can Safely Ignore, Video Gaming

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