Rovio, known for the Angry Birds series finally released their much awaited game called Bad Piggies HD. If you have been following the Angry Birds series very closely then you should know the fact that the pigs were considered the most annoying elements in the world where their presence made the birds angry. On the contrary, Bad Piggies HD takes you through the journey of these pigs. Yes, those little cute gene creators are in the forefront of the story and gameplay. In this review we will cover the plot, gameplay, graphics and other noticeable elements and find out whether Bad Piggies really satisfies the highly addictive standards that Rovio has been delivering over the last few years.
As expected, the first time you launch Bad Piggies and start the level based gameplay you will be presented with a short story of what’s going in a similar filmstrip based narrative. Now this is a very light game so the entire situation is explained with a series of images, that somewhat makes clear about the journey of the pigs. As a matter of fact there are two different stories for the two sets of levels currently offered in Bad Piggies.
For the Ground Hog Day mode it shows the pig queen realizing on a big couch with his sergeants carrying the enormous weight on their shoulders. The queen suddenly discovers an abandoned box with lots of new stuff in it. She quickly finds a magnifying telescope that revels some fresh eggs in a far away place. The two guards who were carrying the queen starts mapping the perfect route from their destination to those eggs. Disaster strikes when a fan blade starts spinning out of the blue moon and tears the map into several pieces. These pieces quickly flies away from their sight leaving the queen in despair. The game begins where the pigs must use the leftover parts from the box to craft their very own vehicles and travel across several checkpoints, each earning them a missing piece of the egg map.
While this is the main backdrop of the game. You will occasionally find mystery levels that shows a pig peeking towards a gliding blue cap on a dark hole. I will come to them a lit later in the gameplay section. Finally, there is another story for the “When Pigs Fly” section of the game that shows the same queen pig instructing the little ones to craft the map from their place to the egg. They find themselves in trouble yet again when a small piggie blows a box of TNT turning the free queen into a roasted black ball.
The stories may not procreate any logic but this is one game where you need to keep logic aside, at least for the story bit of it. The beautiful cartoonists illustrations will surely put a smile in your face even before you being playing the first level. These clips can be accessed from the level selection area and played whenever you wish to see them. Now that you know the story you must have guessed that the game obviously revolves around the adventures of the pigs in recollecting the bits and pieces. The way Rovio achieves that with a brand new gameplay style is simply amazing.
If you are thinking that this is just another Angry Birds edition with minor tweaks and improvements to the physics engine then you are mistaken. We have been following this game for quite some months now and the developers came up with a brand new gameplay style and ultra realistic physics engine that really puts your creativity to the test. Let’s explain the gameplay in a bit more detail so that you can understand the whole picture clearly.
You still have the level sets with numerous levels not them. Each level has an infinite number of outcomes and you are graded on a based of 3 stars just like any other Rovio game. But when you actually start playing a level you will see the changes. Every level has a specific course or path that your pig has to travel in order to get to the paper piece. But a pig with no hands and legs cannot just walk to its destination, can it? Neither are you a bird with the privilege of flying high. So you need to construct your very own vehicles from a given set of tools so that it takes you from your starting point to your goal.
Vehicle construction is the key factor in determining how well you score in Bad Piggies. Initially you will be given wooden blocks and wheels and the first few stages are relatively easy. As you progress a bit further you are presented with challenging new paths, areas and a lot of parts to construct more complex stuff. The construction mode provides you with a grid reference to place all these parts. An increasing number of grids substantially increases the complexity of the situation. The later labels lets you add springs, jet rockets, propellers and lots more to truly build a massive machine that will take your pig to your goal. Rightfully so the distance you have to cover also changes with new obstacles, multiple paths, cliff edges etc.
While playing Bad piggies I constantly reminded the mind-blowing physics system that this game has to offer. Each and every combination of the different parts of the vehicle yields to a new result. The ability to activate the propeller, blow a TNT, propel a rocket and other cool stuff further introduces different techniques to complete a level. One thing that I loved in bad piggies is that fact that you can control every new upgrade for a vehicle. Even when you make a flying machine with balloons you can choose to burst it whenever you please.
The New Star Based Achievements
As I told you earlier that Rovio is known for making their levels grade-able on a scale of 3 stars. Bad Piggies simply carry this tradition forward with subtle changes to the way your achievements work. You will find a bouncing pig at the base of your star count screen. Depending on the amount of stars you managed to achieve, the pig’s expression will change accordingly. This means if you manage to collect all the stars in a level then you will see the pig jumping and dancing with joy. I think this is a very creative and a fun way of celebrating your achievements.
Unlike the other games, this time your ratings totally depends on mission and not a standardized score scale. For every level you will be given a selected timeframe. You need to transfer the pig using your vehicle in that given time to collect that star. Other conditions include collecting the star box, restriction of use for a particular vehicular part and so on. These new mission based challenges makes goals in Bad Piggies more satisfying to achieve.
When it comes to the presentation and features Bad Piggies does a fantabulous job of creating a perfect game that is both brain twisting and entertaining. The home screen greets you with animations of serious vehicles being driven by the pigs. Then you have the levels (around 60) which are subdivided not two main groups. Finally to tinker your self creativity this game comes with a Sandbox mode. You need to play a few levels n order to unlock the Sandbox levels. Yes, you heard me right, sandbox mode is itself divided into large levels where you can create an ultra complex vehicle and cover a path that is longer and more difficult than the rest of the levels. I tried tinkering with this mode and my head really started spinning because I felt that there is not enough instructions as to what you need to do at every step. This brings me to another very important point where I feel that Rovio could have done a little better when it comes to tutoring a new gamer to this game.
For every level you will be presented with a handbook that shows rough diagrams of what each vehicle part is capable of. Although the initial few levels are easy to figure out but sometimes things get so complicated that you wised that there were certain stage specific hints like the ones in Amazing Alex. The hint guidebook fails to engage the audience properly and I feel they should have done some interactive tutorials that actually demonstrated the functionalities in real-time. Moving on, you have a green magnifying glass on top for each and every level that lets you quickly see the path you need to cover.
Bad Piggies is one of those games where the physics engine is the prime factor determining every move you make, every possible combination you create. Although driven by highly intelligent mathematical calculation, the engine feels so real and engaging that the entire game never feels too old. Each level can be completed in a lot of ways. No only there are innumerable amounts of vehicular customization available but your timing is also dependent on the way you use the rockets, propeller, pistons and other parts.
This was truly one of the most anticipated iOS game of the year. Bad Piggies showcases a completely new perspective to the world of Angry Birds pigs (whom we have known to be evil and dumb minded). The pigs are truly lovable and the new gameplay mechanics ensures that the levels never feel too old. The graphics look really polished and gorgeous on the new retina display of the iPad and the iPhone. From the moment you launch the game, the fast chiming music will engulf you into the world of pigs for a very long time. For $2.99 I think this is a great value for money and makes Bad Piggies a must buy.
- Great physics system
- Highly creative gameplay
- Lots of levels with infinite possibilities
- Great music and presentation
- Sandbox Mode is a bit unclear
- The instruction handbook is not an adequate tutorial guide.