Dec 9, 2011
I love pigs. It’s hard to explain why, it’s been the case for a long time. But it’s certainly a big part of why I decided to try out Pig Rush. It also seemed like one of those easy pick-up and put-down games that I like so much for my commute. And long story short that is exactly what it is. But this isn’t meant to be a short story, so:
Pig Rush is a side-scrolling platform jumping game. Except that the platforms are all at the same level, with the variation being the distance between them, which changes at intervals. The pig (which begins by being named Jumpy, but you have the option of renaming him) is an adorable little guy who just seems to like running. He trots along briskly at an even clip with no signs of slowing down, and it’s up to you to make sure that he doesn’t fall down into a ravine. The landscape is cartoonishly pastoral, with little fluffy clouds in a clear blue sky. Jumpy passes by little red barns and apple trees, flowers and picket fences. The only alarming thing about the world is that it is all hovering high in the sky with nothing supporting it. There are bees chilling out in the air above the platforms, and jumping into them earns point bonuses. Jumpy also has a few obstacles in the way of fires set along the way, but he can ward these off by jumping into and claiming a fireman’s hat, which must apparently be made of asbestos. And finally, a game about a pig would not be complete without a set of wings for him to earn, and become a flying pig. The wings can give you sustained, but not indefinite flight, and bring to mind the Tanuki suit from Mario 3.
The game’s largest draw is honestly the graphics: the designers have combined dimensions in a visually interesting way. Jumpy the pig, the trees and bees, are all 2D, but exist on the land platforms which are 3D. It’s almost a big confusing to look at, but still quite impressive. The music is also nice, with an almost Latin quality. It certainly sounds like the music of a pig running quickly.
The downside of the 3D graphics is that the game can lag quite a bit while rendering the background. This becomes a large issue quickly as it is a quick game that relies on the accuracy of your timing. A micro-second pause can mean a fall into a ravine and the end of your turn. This is compounded by the fact that ever death means that you go back to Level 1. There is the possibility of earning continues, but it comes at the cost of downloading additional programs. And the game itself suffers after time being being repetitive. I was intrigued when I first loaded it up because I was shown an assortment of variations of the theme (run as the Easter Bunny, or as a reindeer), but these side games can only be unlocked by earning a depressingly large number of points in the main game. I just don’t feel motivated to play so much of this game that I can unlock another version of the same thing and keep playing.
And this may seem like a random aside, but I was quite a bit disconcerted by some of the ads that run across the menu. I have no issue with a free app using ads to generate some revenue, but it’s a little strange that a game ostensibly aimed at young people is running ads for Mexican obesity clinics. I don’t know if it’s worse if no one is screening the ads, or if they are and that was allowed to pass.