Though gruelling manual labour is probably the last thing you’ll be thinking about doing over the Christmas period, passing the large quantity seconds, minutes, and hours that comprise the many days off at this time of year will likely be high on the agenda. Instead of opting for fairly mindless and repetitive platform games or playing with your dated console games from yesteryear, you should try getting to grips with the cranially-challenging Cargo Bridge series instead. No one wants to do non-Christmasy things at Christmas, though, so I direct you to the festive edition of the series which comes in the form of Cargo Bridge Xmas Level Pack. Not content with providing you with secular and non-denominational physics–puzzle brilliance, developers Limex Games have ensured that the action has undergone a festive makeover, with a whole bunch of new levels for eager bridge-builders to wrap their brains around.
If you’re looking for a brand new concept and a complete makeover of the previous games then you are certainly in the wrong place; it should be made clear that this is a festive level pack and not a true sequel in any way, shape, or form. That being said, this game’s predecessor and the original Cargo Bridge were utterly fantastic in their own right, and any sort of level pack for the series would essentially have been a game that is standing on the shoulders of giants. Big, bridge-building, quality-physics-game making giants. The concept remains true to the Cargo Bridge norm, which is to build a structure that will get your workers from one side of the screen to the other, bridging the giant gap that stands between your workers and the presents that must be retrieved from the other side. Simple may be one word that comes to mind, but if it was truly that simple, this series wouldn’t have been as successful as it has been.
If it is one thing that encapsulates the stresses of Christmas perfectly it is that of budgetary constraint, and much like this game’s predecessors, this is what Cargo Bridge Xmas Level Pack is also all about. You can’t simply go out and build a bridge with unlimited materials. No, you must pay close attention to the budget that is displayed in the corner of the screen; your bridge building is constrained to this limit, but anything left over will result in praise and joy for the next level.
To get building, you simply go onto the blueprint screen, which is pretty much the same as it has always been in this series. From here, you view the gap in the land as you would any other blueprint, though it has some nice anchor points for your to build outwards from and use as a framework. Use the mouse to select the various materials like wood and/or steel supports and the walkways that correspond with each material that must be placed on top in order to allow the workers to step over them. Confident in your creation of amateur engineering? Time to enter live mode where you test your bridge. This makes the workers attempt to cross the bridge and bring back presents from the other side. If your bridge holds and takes the weight of the presents and the workers, it is deemed a success and you have completed the level.
So building a bridge really isn’t as easy as it may (or may not) have sounded, and it doesn’t get any easier: each level becomes more difficult with more awkward terrain, multiple gaps, and a tighter budget, with all this forcing you to be more economical and creative with your designs. The only respite is the wonderfully snow-capped surroundings and Christmas-draped workers to make everything just that much more warm and cosy.
Cargo Bridge Xmas Level Pack isn’t a pioneering title that will bring Limex Games series to new heights, but the extra levels do bring more of the quality fun we’ve come to expect from this challenging and intellectually stimulating series. The Christmas theme is just what every December calls for, and one can’t ask for any more than that, except perhaps Cargo Bridge 3.