Bridge IT Impressions

We get an up-close look at the impressive-looking successor to Pontifex II at Gen Con Indy 2003.

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We stopped by graphics-chip producer Nvidia's booth at this year's Gen Con Indy consumer convention and saw a demonstration of Bridge IT, a visually impressive game that makes good use of some of the most advanced graphical features supported by Nvidia's new graphics cards. The game itself is a relatively straightforward puzzle game that requires you to build bridges across chasms and rivers that will actually support weight without collapsing.

Bridge IT will feature eight different puzzles for each of the game's four difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard, and complex). The game basically boils down to placing bridge girders across the river or chasm in each level, and then placing supports strategically in and around them. Once you think you've completed the puzzle successfully, you simply click on the "simulate" button, and if your bridge isn't up to snuff, it will deform and collapse in real time based on the flaw in its design. One of the main features in Bridge IT's engine is its ability to model the physics of the bridge's supports and weight--this comes into play in later levels in which you must build to account for earthquakes, or build hydraulic bridges or drawbridges that must part in the middle to let boats pass underneath.

Bridge IT itself uses some very pretty graphical effects, including real-time reflections and shadows on its animated water. The game has day-night cycles and features everyone's favorite graphical effect, the lens flare, during the day, though it also features several different environments, such as a desert environment that will periodically display a heat-haze effect onscreen. Bridge IT is scheduled for release this September.

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