Bridge Constructor Portal is Almost a New Valve Game

first_img Valve Steam Link App Brings Your PC Games to MobileValve Index Is a Powerful VR Headset, Even Without ‘Half-Life’ If you have a Nintendo Switch, chances are you also have The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The new Zelda is a massive, phenomenal game that you can and should play for dozens of hours. But eventually, you’re going to want to play something new on your Nintendo console/handheld hybrid. Switch Games That Aren’t Zelda is a new column highlighting cool, smaller Switch games to check out once you’ve saved Hyrule.For a while I was at peace with the current state of once-great game developer now-turned hat seller Valve. Steam Machines may have been forgotten but the Steam Link, Steam Controller, and HTC Vive proved the company had real contributions to make to gaming hardware. And Half-Life fans finally got some degree of closure with the Episode 3 plot leak. Besides, if I was making Steam and Dota 2 money, I’d probably stop making games, too.But now Bridge Constructor Portal is here to make me mad at Gabe all over again. Or rather, it did until I learned to take solace in the fact that I was playing, on Nintendo Switch no less, the closest thing in a while to a new Valve game.Bridge Constructor Portal is a mashup of ClockStone Software’s Bridge Constructor series and Valve’s Half-Life puzzle-shooter spin-off Portal. It’s developed by Headup Games. The game tasks you with building bridges for different vehicles to travel using physics. Only this time you must consider your ability to bend physics to your will with reality-warping portals. And what good is a series of sterile chaotic test chambers without comically menacing Aperture Laboratories A.I. GLaDOS to egg you on?The merger of styles works remarkably well. Turrets and companion cubes and falling through the ceiling provide creative new challenges for seasoned builders of more “realistic” bridges. The button and/or touch control give you enough flexibility to build bridges with road and scaffolding and suspension cables that work even when gravity doesn’t.Meanwhile, even if you’re mastered how to propel your own body through portals in first, wrapping your head around the physics demands of vehicles in motion is something else entirely. Portals are always fixed in specific locations with simplified color coding, but that doesn’t make the puzzles any easier. Plus, crashing cars in an uncaring factory lab is just a fun, logical extension of the Portal mythos.In a vacuum, it’s all pretty enjoyable actually. Of all of Valve’s franchises, Portal lends itself particularly well to bite-sized, friendlier spin-offs like VR demos or Lego Dimensions sets. The puzzling physics-driven gameplay of both Portal and Bridge Constructor are complementary to sustain 60 puzzles unto themselves. The only thing that’s missing from a “real Portal game is a new Jonathan Coulton song, maybe one about building, and burning, bridges. A level editor would also be nice.But we’re not in a vacuum. We’re in a world where Valve has seemingly abandoned using its considerable talents to make awesome new single-player games. This is like when Nintendo released Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a perfectly fine little game in its own right, during the years-long Metroid drought before Samus Returns and Prime 4 Metroid. I guess Valve spin-offs are better than no Valve games at all, but can’t they spare a little time from letting algorithms moderate their marketplace (or allegedly pursuing potential buyers) to make a dang video game?But Bridge Constructor Portal shouldn’t be forced the bear the burden of Valve’s larger abandonment issues. Not even the strongest bridge could support that. It’s not Valve’s triumphant return to single-player video games, just a cool little mash-up, for science.Buy it now!Buy Nintendo labo Variety Kit.Buy Nintendo Labo Robot Kit.Nintendo SwitchProtect Your Nintendo Switch With These Awesome CasesLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img