Pontifex is a fun 3D bridge construction game by developer Chronic Logic for the PC. The aim is to design bridges that are strong enough to hold a train travelling across it without your
bridge breaking. Using different materials at your exposal, you have to make sure you select the right combination and watch that your bridge comes under your target cost.
The way Pontifex works is by a complex physics engine which allows you to construct different types of bridges whether it is a simple steel bridge to cross a small gap or a suspension bridge to cross a larger one. Once your design is complete you can then stress test it to see where the strongest and weakest areas are. When you think you’re ready that’s the time to send the train across your bridge, back and forth, to see whether it is a solid structure or if your train ends up in the river below. However the layout was a little confusing and it took me a minute or two to find out how to do all this as there was no in-game tutorial when you start a new game.
The game does give you quite a lot though which is good, there are 48 levels in total within Pontifex; you have 16 simple levels, when you master them you’ll be ready for another 16 more complex levels, followed by the more difficult map pack containing another 16 levels. The great thing is you aren’t limited to these levels; you can create your own designs in the level editor, which you can then trade with other people who play Pontifex, to gain access to even more designs.
Graphics wise the game wasn’t anything special, it looked simple and boring really, either side of where you constructed your bridge there was green that was meant to be grass banks, then a dark murky colour for the water and the grey colour of your steel when you build a bridge. One nice effect of the game though is the 3D engine which allows you to see your bridge from any angle, even a really cool one that makes it look like you are strapped onto the front of the train. However this was not enough to make me want to play it repeatedly, having played flash games that are similar which require no cost to play.
Overall, it is a fun game to play, though for what you get for $19.95 could be argued is a little steep considering you can get flash games that do similar things which are free to play, however it is free if you buy their Bridge Building Bundle. That aside, I did have fun and for anyone who really enjoys construction games this would make a great addition to their collection. I’d suggest to anyone reading this review contemplating getting the game to download the free demo first because this game will either be a hit or miss if you buy it and you won’t be happy if you’ve spent $19.95 and it turns out to be the latter.
• Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7
• AMD or Intel 300 Mhz processor or better .
• OpenGL Compatible 3D Graphics adaptor (ATI, NVIDIA, etc.)
• 32MB of free memory.
• Mouse and Keyboard.
• With regards to performance, your processor is by far the most important component. The faster your processor, the better Pontifex performs.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.