Rovio has come a long way from its no-name history to being the makers of one of one the most successful mobile and web game franchises ever, Angry Birds.
Angry Birds was quick to gain worldwide fame, getting endorsements from some big-time celebrities and garnering a large number of downloads within the first few weeks of the release. However, the little flying birds seeking vengeance on the pigs soon started losing flavor with the mass audience due to its generally repetitive nature through the various iterations that have come out since. Angry Birds Space (read our review), though highly publicized, failed to achieve the success many had assumed it would.
Following the Angry Birds series, Rovio launched Amazing Alex (read our review), which moved away from the strategic flinging to systematic placement of objects to achieve goals. It took on a more puzzle-solving approach than the pull-aim-shoot ways of the Birds. Once again, Amazing Alex failed to strike a chord with the gamers.
Rovio has today just launched Bad Piggies, the third game in their portfolio. The game employs the same vibrant colors and physics engine we’ve come to be so familiar with, but instead of taking on the Angry Birds route, it has far more in common with Amazing Alex.
The idea is to get the cute, weird colored little piggy from one point on the map to the finish line while also collecting items spread across the map. Sounds pretty simple don’t it? Well it’s not! The pigs don’t have legs and can only roll around, so the only way they get across the map and to the finish line is using a contraption that must be constructed and here is where the real challenge lies.
The game has 4 “worlds” with 45 levels each. The first two worlds are the only unlocked ones and the latter two must be unlocked by making good progress. The first three or four levels on each world are pretty simple, but collecting the bonuses is always tricky. The levels increase in difficulty pretty quickly, with the terrain becoming trickier and more and more tools becoming available for use.
We spent some time playing the game and noticed that having access to TNT and rocket bottles and fans all in one stage didn’t mean clearing it (forget about clearing it with a good score). The clearing of the stage requires a very precise combination of tools and their positioning. Eventually the game introduces precise timing as a factor too, requiring popping of balloons or starting the rockets at a very precise moment. At any moment, there are only a certain number of tools that can be used to build the pig-transporting contraption, adding to the difficulty of the game.
Our initial impression of the game is that we like it. We like it quite a bit! The Bad Piggies are not bad after all. If you’re the kind of person who is very stubborn and just cannot take failing, then this game is definitely going to keep you occupied. We also must applaud Rovio for including interactive help tips along with a little help icon that explains every aspect of the game, something we found missing in Amazing Alex, making gameplay quite frustrating.
However, seeing how the simplicity of Angry Birds made it a popular hit with the little kids, we feel that the higher level of difficulty might not go down so well with the young ones. Regardless, the game is a classic Rovio product, offering fun and challenges all packaged into a neat little game.