Bad Piggies (also available for iPad) by Rovio marks a bold departure from the bird-flinging norm for the iOS developer. It might be a physics puzzler at its core, but this time, the evil pigs are in control, and there aren’t any slingshots in sight. Needless to say, it’s an ingenious new direction for the franchise, a breath of fresh air in the saturated App Store.
Each of Bad Piggies‘ levels are intricately designed physics puzzles. Players have to help the green snorters build various flying and driving vehicles to help them find the maps to the eggs they always desire. Like Angry Birds, the key is in trial and error – although this might seem like a bit of a daunting task at first, but eases players into the difficult constructions of contraptions that will fly backwards or catapult forward through fan power.
As one might expect, it can be a touchy affair collecting the various boxes spread throughout the level – and most of them are designed to be mastered with multiple playthroughs. There are a total of 90 levels in the release version – 18 of them special unlockable levels – highlighted by the five sandbox levels, which are huge landscapes littered with boxes for players to explore and collect along the way. It will require some serious mechanical work working through those levels, activating fans and strategically placing balloons to affect momentum along the way – though there are consumable tools like mechanics that will gladly help anytime along the way.
Bad Piggies features the same Retina quality graphics of all Rovio games, although I couldn’t help feeling that the game’s art was a little non-descript. Most Angry Birds levels – especially those in the holiday themes – are always such inventive, colorful worlds full of personality, and the rock and grass-filled worlds of Bad Piggies are well-designed for the physics challenge, but their small color palette leads them to run together over time.
With tons of unlockables and 90 levels to play over and over again, it’s no surprise Bad Piggies broke a number of iTunes and App Store records upon its release last week. By flipping the Angry Birds narrative on its head and changing up the gameplay style, Bad Piggies is a fresh, inventive addition to any iOS gamer’s collection.