Rovio has milked their blockbuster Angry Birds nearly dry, and continues to do so with the recent unveiling of Angry Birds: Star Wars. With the colossal success they’ve had with their endless nests of colorful birds and their brethren, it’s only to be expected. But we were always left wondering what their next release would be, and how it could possibly measure up to Angry Birds after it became such a sensation. While they did freshen things up a bit with their contraption-building puzzler Amazing Alex, they did the only logical thing a powerhouse developer could do and stuck to the familiar: the Angry Birds universe.
Only this time, the nefarious pigs have stolen the show. Taking creative points from Alex, Bad Piggies explores the pigs’ attempts to reach point B (at the end of a map) from point A (the beginning fixed point) via makeshift contraptions. Perhaps they’re training for maximum bird trollage and we’re aiding them in their conquest. Maybe it’s all in preparation for a strange soapbox derby. In any case, Bad Piggies is simple, addictive fun that successfully captures the Angry Birds spirit while still spicing up the formula so many have failed to mimic successfully.
There are no wooden fortresses the pigs have created that you need to destroy this time around. The name of the game here is building in an interesting twist – the pigs really aren’t so “bad” after all! You’ll be given a limited amount of resources and a small grid with which to place them. You’ll need to rig together all sorts of crazy contraptions to propel your piggy to the end of the map in one way or another. But this is no cakewalk, especially when you consider how complicated collecting all of the level stars can be. Three stars are up for grabs in each level, but they’re not all based on your performance. One star is achieved by simply getting your pig to the finish and the other two vary depending on what level you’ve reached. It’s a lot more difficult than before, but that also makes things considerably more interesting.
Wooden blocks (where pigs can ride), engines, fans, and other types of propulsion items are available for use at the start of each level, and it’s up to you to figure out how to put them together. The game regrettably does a poor job of relating the more intricate instructions, so you’re often left to your own devices, but in a twisted way it makes the trial-and-error nature of Bad Piggies more fun. Setting up a three-block “car” with one bizarre unicycle wheel, then testing the waters only to watch your pig’s vehicle fall to pieces is tough not to laugh at, even when you’re frustrated.