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Bad Piggies is the follow up to Angry Birds, a spin-off featuring the devious little pigs that we worked so hard to bring down in the original Rovio game. That’s about where the similarities end, however, as the game is a completely different take and new direction for the company as a whole.
In Bad Piggies, you play as one little inventor pig with the goal of building carts and flying contraptions in order to move around the environment and cross a finish line goal at the other end of the map. Each level’s map is structured differently to offer up more challenge and scales in difficulty the further you get into the gameplay.
The game is built around a core building mechanic. When the level starts, you’ll be given a handful of supplies and an specific amount of space with which to build your creation. After that, it’s up to you to construct a vehicle to get the job done. The supplies included each serve a unique purpose, be it the box for protecting the pig, wheels to move about the environment, TNT to propel you forward, fans and umbrellas to help with momentum, or balloons to help you stay afloat. Myriad items are available, however, one has to use their own discretion to decide what to use.
The fun of Bad Piggies, oddly, is its trial-and-error approach to gameplay. The physics in the game are consistent and work great to make gameplay unique and interesting throughout the levels, and while there are hints made available to you, you’ll have to use trial and error in order to find creative ways to build these machines and achieve your goal, all while worrying about things like momentum, weight distribution, and obstacles in the world. Although later levels get challenging, it never gets too frustrating or tedious to go back and rebuild your vehicles, making minor tweaks in hopes that it will be enough for your next run.
Stars scattered throughout the level are an added challenge on top of reaching the main goal, and like its predecessor Angry Birds, Bad Piggies has a star ranking system delivered at the end of each level. While it’s interesting to get a score at the end, I never figured out exactly how it was calculated; it wasn’t rare for me to all but destroy my machine, barely crossing the finish line with my pig intact, and yet I somehow managed to score two out of three stars for that run. By no means does it inhibit gameplay, but it would have been nice to know exacly what I was earning and how I went about achieving it.
The only issue I had with it is that, while it’s an original take for Rovio as a whole, building vehicles and using physics-based puzzles is not a new style of gameplay. And while there’s nothing wrong with a new take on a used genre, nothing in Bad Piggies (besides maybe the aesthetic of it) really makes me feel like the game is any different from others of its kind.
While set in the Angry Birds universe, Bad Piggies is a completely different experience all on its own, with its own rules and set of gameplay mechanics. Featuring great physics, fun challenges, and a copied, but well-realized vehicle building system, it’s a creative puzzle game that makes you think, all while delivering the same addictive quality as the original Angry Birds. So if you’re a fan of puzzle games and have a few minutes to kill throughout your day, consider splurging on the $.99 and download Bad Piggies today.
(Note: This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch. It is also available for Android, PC, Windows Phone, and Mac)