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Game Maker Games - Bridging the Gap
 Bridging the Gap by Erik Leppen
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Review by happysister
When I saw that this game was about trains, the first thing that came to my mind was this little boy I met many, many years ago who was obsessed, OBSSESSED with Thomas the Tank Engine, and pretty much trains in general. This game is nothing like Thomas the Tank Engine. In fact, if Thomas the Tank Engine were real, he wouldnít want to come anywhere near this game because it deals with the destruction of bridges and the death of trains. Well, thatís only true if youíre a poor architect.

Bridging the Gap is a game where you build bridges. Over gaps. Rightly named. However, the catch is that you have to build a bridge that can withstand the weight and pressure of a train as it passes over the gap. Some of these trains can be pretty small. Some of these trains can be pretty big and long. Not to mention, they move at different speeds. As the trains differ from one another, so do the gaps that you have to build bridges over. So, as you can see, the game itself is pretty simple, but was it executed well? Letís take a look.

The title screen wasnít anything special. It just holds the main menu, but it gets the job done. No complaints there.

The graphics of this game are actually quite brilliant. Iím not even sure how to describe them other than they fit with the style of the game, and they accomplish what they need to do without being too extravagant or lacking.

No music. Only sound effects. Thatís all it needed.

Now, the thing about Bridging the Gap that impressed me the most was the game engine. Again, like everything else about the game, playing is a really simple matter. You have two materials to use when building bridges: joints and members. Thatís it. You have to place these onscreen to build your bridge, following a grid in the background, and you have to do all this within the limits of your budget. When youíre done, you press the ďStart SimulationĒ button at the top of the screen to send the train across your bridge and see if it survives the scary trip over your rickety structure. Thatís it! Thatís all there is to the game! And believe it or not, itís fun! It engages your imagination and creativity. It also actually causes you to think carefully and plan on how you are going to get that train over the gap because 1) the more money you have left over, the higher your score will be, and 2) you donít want the engineer or the passengers to die horrible deaths in the river below.

There was only one thing about this game that came off as an annoyance to me, and that was the menu at the top of the screen that appears in levels. Well, the menu itself wasnít annoying. Trying to access the different choices in the menu was. This is due to the games screen scrolling feature. If you moved your mouse a little too high (you do everything with a mouse in this game), then the screen would scroll upwards where there really wasnít anything to see. To keep it from scrolling, you basically had to hover the very tip of your mouse over the buttons so that you didnít trigger the scrolling. My suggestion for that would be make the buttons bigger, or reduce the size of the scroll trigger.

Other than that, I thought the game was great. If you are into architecture, design, or playing with Legoís, you would want to give this game a go. Even if you arenít, give it a go anyways. Itís a very creative game, and definitely worth the download.

Download Bridging the Gap (EXE, ~2.9 MB , Suitable for everyone )

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Recommendations: The 6 people who like Bridging the Gap also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2009.08.17 angld
Rating: 8

This game really deserved a review, and I'm gald I got it. Well worth the download and play.
2009.07.26 Stargate
Rating: --

Looks very much like a game I've downloaded about 6 months ago (Bridge Builder). Very interested in this game. I will check it out.
2009.07.25 Davdud101
Rating: 10

Very fun. I played for, like an hour.
2006.10.29 Oliv
Rating: 9

I really enjoyed this, especially since you really must use logic to build well. S made more challenging, online highscore...?
2006.10.25 edenb
Rating: --

Bridging the Gap.
By Mark & Erik Leppen

Bridging the Gap is a bridge building simulation coupled with the 'tycoon' element of money. It may be an odd combination, but it works.

Most GM games at the moment tend to be either fast-paced, or extremely short. Bridging the Gap brings a refreshing, slower style of game to the table; it demands logic and strategy, offering an intellectual challenge to those who play the game.

Money adds the 'tycoon' element that is crucial in encouraging the player to think outside the box, and of course the challenge is to use less money, in essence, to get a better score.

While Bridging the Gap is certainly not a small game, it is not a very large one either, giving the player a grand total of 50 levels to toy with. I would have liked to have seen the possibility of a freestyle mode, as well as the feature of multiple saves that display, rather than the player having to remember what their last name used in the game was.

It probably wasn't necessary to read the clearly written help guide, as learning how to play Bridging the Gap is rather easy; it is a simple process of click and drag, which makes the game wonderfully intuitive.

I feel the atmosphere of this game could have been enhanced considerably with the aid of music. Yes, there were sparse sound effects, but there was no actual music to speak of.

The graphics have a cute air about them, which suits Bridging the Gap quite well. Regardless of that, I felt that they verged on being a bit repetitive. Nevertheless they are appropriate for the type of game Bridging the Gap appears to be.

The greatest feature of this game is the refreshing slow-paced gameplay which, coupled with the execution of the user interface and physics, creates a game that is unique for Game Maker. Well worth the download.
2006.10.06 gamshobny
Rating: 9

Il like it. Would be better if there would be some backgroundsong or something...but it's original and fun!
2006.09.12 mulliganmaster
Rating: 6

Decent graphics and sound. Would have liked to see the diffulcty level increase with something like multi-track bridge with the trains coming from oppisite directions at the same time. But for what is here, it is done very well....
2006.09.05 poizen
Rating: 9

Very impressive effects. This should be the game of the month. Very well done.
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