Bridgy Jones is a man who loves his dog Bonner. They travel through the countryside on a locomotive that's chugging along with a supply of crates. Although they're a cute pair, there is nothing easy going about this bridge building game, and that's a good thing. If you survive an initial bout of frustration, the pleasures this title offers will gradually win you over.

Bridgy's mission is to keep his train moving. Unfortunately, ravines, rivers, gorges, and all kinds of empty space impede his progress. During the opening stages, you are given tracks and beams to build a proper bridge to get he and Bonner safely through various terrain. To access the items, tap the icons at the lower right hand side of your device and drag your finger to the desired location. As you're building your structure, a lensing device known as a loupe appears to magnify your activities. Under settings, you have the option of placing the loupe on the upper right or left side of your screen.

After you're done building the structure, the locomotive is ready to start its ride across the tracks. Scores are tallied based on the number of crates that remain on the train or challenges you achieved within each level. The most important element is to keep your train from crashing into the lower depths. If the planks you put together can only hold the locomotive for a few seconds, make sure you get that train running as fast as possible. By nine seconds, my makeshift bridge was ready to collapse and Bridgy was not a happy camper.

After completing a succession of stages, bonus levels will be unlocked. The first one, titled Up, Up, And Away, calls for the train to jump as far as possible. Although my locomotive looked absolutely discombobulated by the time it flew down the hill, it eventually did a triple front flip in midair and earned me one of its 35 Game Center achievements. The black and white silhouette style which is the popular visual style of the moment for many iOS titles, is also a nice change of pace from the green countryside Bridgy traverses.

One of Bridgy Jones' top selling points lies in its control mechanics. Using your finger to actually connect a plank to a track or pressing down on a platform to move it around and strengthen its foundation gives the game an organic feel. Although you're not actually building a bridge, you are actively engaged at solving a puzzle through construction and connection. If all your plans continue to fail and your train falls into the abyss, don't take it to heart. All you need is a little sense of humor and a few sips of a classy, alcoholic beverage.

Bridgy Jones is not for the impatient gamer, since learning how to construct a suitable passageway takes a bit of practice. A bit of perseverance goes a long way with Bridgy and Bonner, so try to keep the faith even if everything falls apart around you. Once you find the patterns of what actually works, the train should be headed in the right direction.


App Store Link: Bridgy Jones for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.2.0 | 301 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating