WHEEEEE..LIWIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII..HHHAAWRRRRRRRR..aah ! The sound of these birds really does echo in your head (yes even after 2 years of playing the same game) you guessed it! We are ANGRY BIRDS addicts. Well who isn’t today? And just as we were almost beginning to think what’s next in store for us, ROVIO, the finnish giants launches its next game – BAD PIGGIES.
As soon as we heard its up on the market we (with the excitement of a school kid at the sight of an ice-cream) downloaded it from the app store for FREE (android version is free with ads). Here it goes game downloaded, ready, set play!
AT FIRST GLANCE:
The game really does remind one of angry birds, with the same comic script like introduction following up to the actual game play. Everything looks the same but this time the pigs get the limelight (yeah! the same round limbless twats our brave birds have been bashing up since past 3 releases). The goal is simple (at least it looks simple) , build a simple vehicle out of spare parts such as boxes, wheels and guide a single pig to its finish line . Well overall for a start the game seems kind of dull, there is no real action and seems to make you use your brain (senseless simplicity at first) .
In terms of gameplay, Bad Piggies is closer to AMAZING ALEX (which by the way was a big, YAWN!) than Angry Birds. In each level, you get a bunch of objects that you have to arrange in a grid to form the vehicle. The object includes boxes, wheels, rockets, balloons, TNT, umbrellas, etc. Each of them has a specific purpose. The boxes form the frame of the vehicle and everything has to be attached to them. The wheels, of course, facilitate motion. Propulsion devices, such as fans, rockets, bellows, soda bottles, etc. help propel the vehicle to make it go faster or climb up a slope. Umbrellas act as your brakes. Balloons lift the vehicle and sandbags weight it down as long as you want. TNT, when denoted correctly, lets you shoot the pig in a particular way and achieve greater height than or else would be possible. At times you get objects such as motors, that don’t do anything on their own but combined with something like the fan makes the vehicle move faster. Depending upon the objects you have, you get buttons on screen to activate or deactivate them. You can, for example, switch the fans on or off, open or close the umbrellas or pop the balloons as required.
Whoa Whoa Whoa! Sounds brain wrecking right? Well yes, it is to be honest and it may not appeal to all users (miss you angry birds). Anyways nothing to fright when your little mechanic pig is here. You can access the in-game tips to see how you can use the objects you have at your disposal. If you simply can’t figure out how to build the right vehicle, you can power up by tapping Hire a Mechanic (in Angry Birds the equivalent is the Mighty Eagle). A mechanic simply builds the contraption for you. You get 3 mechanics for free just by liking the Bad Piggies Facebook page, but after that you’ll need to open your wallet. However, you can keep hiring mechanics, starting from $1.99 for ten. Once you assemble the vehicle, you hit the button and the level begins. There are multiple goals in the level but the main one is always the plans at the end of the level. You need to get there to finish the level and for other achieved goals to count. Other goals include stars that you can collect, reaching the plans before the timer runs out and not using a specific object in a level.
You see, Bad Piggies tries to reach out to more frequent, competitive (and maybe even hardcore) gamers, by making a perfect score less attainable. Because there’s no extra “stuff” (wood, brick, glass) to demolish, there’s no longer a “score”. The beauty of the score is that it lets more competitive gamers get aggressive and enjoy competing, while still letting the more casual user’s sneaks through levels with one star.
All in all the gameplay does seem a bit tedious and though the levels are way more complex and difficult as compared angry birds (which by the way depended a lot on luck and was often criticized for the same) .
WHAT WE LIKED :
If you enjoyed the physics element in Rovio’s other app Amazing Alex, then Bad Piggies will leave you hooked.
Challenging gameplay. The more you play, the more attuned you become to the level design, and the more you grasp the nuances of the different items. It’s worth persisting.
Big applause to ROVIO for continuously pushing the boundaries of their demographic and proving a point that it won’t be known as a one wonder franchisee.
And lastly, IT IS NOT ANGRY BIRDS. No matter how much we say we loved angry birds there is an expiry date for everything and angry birds had reached last year! It’s great to see a change .
WHAT WE DISLIKED:
There’s no leader board champion. So even though it may be more challenging, it doesn’t appeal to the competitive nature of most intense gamers.
Without the score, Rovio has opted to make it even more difficult to get three stars (and in Bad Piggies, it surely is once you get into the Second Episode: “When Pigs fly”). So not only will casual gamers, like myself, find it more difficult to be exceptional (and achieve three stars), but the cream of the crop, the really great players, will all smear together as people who spent the time and energy to get to three stars, with no distinction past that.
Lastly, the game is packaged in a dull wrapper, with boring visuals and a passable soundtrack that don’t do justice to the gameplay.
Fun, But the Pigs Are No Birds
Bad Piggies is a high-quality game, but it won’t replace Angry Birds. Instead of half-attentively catapulting birds like in the latter, Bad Piggies requires your complete attention to solve puzzle after puzzle. A lot of people try to draw comparisons to Angry Birds, but it’s much more similar to Amazing Alex, and will appeal to the same crowd that would rather solve a puzzle than race to the finish line.
It also proves that Rovio’s pig characters can carry a game on their own, indicating they have a bigger role to play in the future for the publisher’s feathery franchise.
The birds will be furious at that news…
* * * 1/2