Angry Avians are Over
Angry Birds? Sure, it was big for a while, and very few could have estimated the runaway success of the series that is still being milked by Rovio to this very second, squeezing the teat of success until it is purple and sore in spite of the milk running dry quite some time ago. The highly-worn saga is now at the stage of being lazily re-contextualised in various locales, with space being the most recent venue for the birds in Angry Birds Space. I’m bored of these pathetic birds with anger management problems by now, though, and just how many structures do they have to destroy before they are able to let go of their rage, anyway? No, I’m rooting for a different creature from now on, and pigs are most definitely the way forward. Bad Piggies is one of these games that could be said to stand out from the average swine-based, flash-powered pastime. This game has elements of various genres, but it is a puzzle game with physics at its core. Building contraptions to get you to the finish line is the challenge, and a bunch of mischievous pigs are at the centre of it all: can you get these pigs to where they want to go?
The gameplay of Bad Piggies is a brave departure from that of Angry Birds. Instead of launching birds with a catapult, you are instead facilitating the passage of a pig/various pigs to a finish line by building your own contraption out of the parts provided. Wheels, umbrellas, bellows, and springs are just a few of the items you get for constructing your ridiculous contraption, which is put together by simply dragging the parts you want into the square-shaped slots on the screen. The scoring system of Angry Birds is clearly evident here, with one, two, or three stars being collected depending on your aptitude for successfully building the best device for the job. Once you vehicle is built, you simply press the ‘go’ button, using the on-screen buttons to use any propulsion attachments you may have used.
It is difficult to judge this game’s worthiness without referencing the mighty Angry Birds, but it is an essential comparison since it is such a well-known title that many can relate to. The game is very entertaining, and the mixture of familiar and alien features will please both old and new fans alike, but the game is noticeable more difficult than its bird-based brother. Whilst luck played a fairly large part in Angry Birds, the only way to attain three-star success here is to actually build the right contraption for the job. You can win ‘mechanics’ throughout the game, which can be used to build the correct contraption if you are having trouble, but mechanics are mainly a premium feature that must be purchased.
In spite of its difficulty, Bad Piggies will likely have you coming back for more on a repeated basis because it really is fun, and when you’re done with ‘Groundhog Day’ mode, you can move on to ‘When Pigs Fly’, which involves airborne contraptions instead of those that travel solely along the ground. Variety is something that Bad Piggies definitely does not lack, and visual style is another thing, but the untouchable, indescribable ‘magic’ that Angry Birds had simply isn’t there. The game doesn’t even have the simple charm or original mechanics of more basic titles like Fantastic Contraption either. It’s still a good laugh though, when you’re not throwing valuable items across the room in frustration, that is.