Bridge Builder is the first game in a series of the same title, in which players are tasked to build bridges over specified areas, so that a train may be able to cross over them. Players are given a limited budget and number of materials to use. The first game in the series makes use of two-dimensional graphics and is no longer supported by the developer, Chronic Logic. The other games are in 3D.
The game level shows a section of land and the starting and ending points of the train. There are also anchor points where players can anchor the bridge from. If the train successfully crosses the bridge, the level is completed. In the first Bridge Builder game, players are given steel beams to work with. Players must stay within the budget, which determines the amount of materials that can be used.
If the train encounters a mishap due to a weak bridge, players have to restart the level. Levels can be replayed without a limit, so players can try and test different designs until they make a bridge that is sturdy enough. A bridge that is not designed well may break if it cannot support its weight, and even if it does, it may not be structurally sound enough to support the weight of a train. During testing, players will be able to see the tensile and compressive stress applied on each section of the bridge.