[Review] Bridge Strike – Nintendo Switch

Written by Mel Curtis
  • Developer: Project R3D
  • Publisher: Drageus Games
  • Release date: 05/06/2020
  • Price: £6.29 / $6.99 
  • Review code provided by Drageus Games

Introducing: Bridge Strike Review

One of my favorite things about the Switch is the sheer variety of games that we are seeing come to it, not only out of the big triple-A developers, but also the little indie teams. It’s the sign of a healthy and thriving console! For me, though, the best part of writing here (aside from the team that I work with) is that I get to engage with games that I never would have bought on my own. This time around, I got to look at Bridge Strike, one such game that I would have considered out of my wheelhouse before, but am pleased I got to try out.

Pew Pew!

The idea of Bridge Strike’s story is fairly simple. You are in nondescript country A’s military and nondescript country B is making moves to invade. You are being deployed in a fancy new model of airplane in order to make moves to keep them from getting over the border. That’s really about all there is to it. It’s actually pretty refreshing to see a military game that’s not about some huge conspiracy any of that nonsense. Things are simple and straightforward in a way that, as an adult, I wish sociopolitical issues could really be.

There’s a series of chapters for the levels that label themselves as different missions in order to differentiate, but it’s not like each of these chapters has a deep narrative or anything like that. Which, for the type of game that this is, is perfectly fine. While I expect an interesting narrative out of some games, I’m perfectly fine going with just a basic setup from a fun arcade-y piece like this.

Bang Bang!

When I first played Bridge Strike I found myself getting irritated with it. I was finding it repetitive and while I had fun with the gameplay at first, it was starting to wear thin after a while. Then I realized that this was one that I had approached wrong. Bridge Strike is one of those games that it’s really built for quick, bite-sized play sessions, not the lengthy attempt to play through a significant portion in a single sitting like I had been doing. When I started taking it in smaller segments, just doing a level here and there, I found that was much happier with the game. I know that’s not for everyone, but this is a game that’s really designed for quick bursts rather than a lengthy session, especially when taken into account that it’s on the short side when it comes to the campaign.

Bridge Strike sees you guiding a plane through an area and doing whatever sort of mission the game has set forth for the level. Sometimes you’ll be living the name of the game by blowing up all the bridges along your path. Sometimes you’ll be taking out every enemy boat and airship. Other times you’ll be showing off your flying skills by collecting coins spread through the level. Either way, the game has you aiming for perfection as it will want you to get every one of whatever it has tasked you with, having only that many in the level. I didn’t fine that to be much of a challenge since there was never anything that was particularly hidden, but it does mean that you will have to pay attention.

As you’re flying through the levels you’ll be able to not only control the direction that you are moving, but also the speed at which you move. I was glad to see that speeding up did slightly zoom out my view so that I could see what was coming from slightly further away so I still had the same amount of time to react as before.  Along the way you won’t have limited shots with which to destroy things, but your fuel is limited. Thankfully, there are ships along the way where, if you slow yourself down a bit, you’ll be refueled for as long as you stay over the top of them, giving you what you need to keep going. It’s a case of making sure you hit the targets while managing one resource. It’s simple but good arcade fun at it’s core, emphasized by how there is an endless raid mode to go along with the campaign.

Kaboom!

The place that Bridge Strike really shines, though is in the art direction. The entire game is made out of vibrant and detailed pixel art that will thrill those who have a love of it. I don’t get the impression that it was meant to emulate a specific era in the approach that they have taken, but it does bring the art into the modern age with everything looking pitch perfect. I especially was fond of the little touch that you can see the joystick of the plane at the bottom of the screen and it reacts with the actions that you take. It’s a small detail, but it keeps things a little more visually interesting than if I was just seeing the game area for the entire screen.

In terms of sound, things are fine, but I wouldn’t say that they’re exceptional. The music is repetitive, but I never found it to be any sort of an irritant while I was playing as it stayed mostly in the background. The sound effects were the reason I turned my Switch down, though. They’re fairly stock and repetitive. It’s something that I’m mostly willing to forgive for a game of this scale, though.

We Did It, Boys!

Everything runs really smoothly. I never ran into any sort of a problem and the game never stuttered for me. While I haven’t unlocked all of the ships/planes that can be used just yet (some of them are really expensive!) the ones that I have unlocked have run just as smoothly as the base plane that you start the game with. It’s a solid time all around. 

I found that when I was playing it docked, some things were a little smaller and harder to see than when I was playing it handheld. This is fairly normal when you’re playing from halfway across the room, though. In fact, it made the game a little more challenging, which I liked. By that point I was fairly solid on how things were and was itching for things to get a little more difficult. 

Marching On

Overall, Bridge Strike is a bite-sized piece of arcade fun that’s meant for quick sessions or on the go play. That’s what it’s trying to do and it’s doing it very well. At the price point it’s selling for, I wouldn’t really ask for all that more and if you’re looking for something in that vein to add on to your switch library, then this is a really solid option.

Pros

  • Beautiful pixel art
  • Simple and easy to understand gameplay
  • Great for short bursts of entertainment
  • Good price

Cons

  • Becomes very repetitive in long play sessions
  • Coins earned in campaign are a small fraction of those needed for unlocks
  • The dang rockets that I never seem to actually see coming!

Verdict

Perfect for short and on the go gaming, this stunningly pixeled airplane shooter is a great budget addition to your switch lineup.

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