Oct 8, 2012
The pigs of Angry Birds are finally out in their own game, wrecking up the place on their own terms in Bad Piggies. While they might not be good at defending what they’ve stolen, those pigs are rather adept builders, given the many complex landscapes that they constructed without even the use of hands! Sure, they fall like a house of cards, but victory through obfuscation is their ultimate goal. They’ve decided to be more proactive in this game, getting mobile to get those eggs they want. Players build a vehicle for the pigs that at the minimum must get to the goal. These involve boxes, wheels, balloons, soda jets, fans, and more. Players launch the vehicle, and deploy their equipped tools at the right time to ensure the objectives are complete. Alternate ones include finishing under a certain time, collecting star boxes in a level, and not using a certain item. There are two other objectives in each level to get. The sandbox involves giant levels with a bunch of star crates to collect, and the ultimate goal of trying to get them all.
The idea feels a lot more involved than Amazing Alex, another game that involved building things. Here, because there’s a skill component of timing, it’s not just about creative solutions and fighting the physics, but also about playing well. It’s got more of that Angry Birds feel where chaos can take over, but the player who has a good approach can succeed. That the player gets to choose their loadout from the given materials and can complete a level in many ways just makes it more satisfying. Also, Rovio has decided to release the game for free on Google Play in both “HD” and regular versions: there’s some occasional banner ads after levels and on the level selection screen. There’s 90 levels in the first two level packs, and 100 collectible stars in the Sandbox mode that is unlocked later.
Yet, somehow, I’m finding myself more in love with the times that I fail, than when I succeed. Those provide me with more joy, seeing the way my pig contraption has failed when I really thought it was going to succeed. I suppose comedy truly is the difference between expectations and reality. So it’s almost a letdown when I succeed. As well, while I like that it’s possible to get all three stars in different runs, it always seems impossible to actually do that. I’ve succeeded, yes, but am I finished? It’s difficult enough completing that first run, and there’s often a second strategy that’s required to complete that other objective. This is where Angry Birds succeeded: there was success, and then there was a higher level of success. Maybe a new approach had to be carried out, but it was for the same goal. Here, it’s just a completely different goal. It just doesn’t feel as satisfying as it should be.
Am I being too critical of Bad Piggies for this? Perhaps. It’s executed with that Rovio charm and polish that they are known for, but I just feel like something’s fallen short of greatness here, though that Sandbox is rather inviting for some more playtime…
Bad Piggies Review Rundown
App available on the Google Play Store »