Roll Down Hills and Through Dark Caverns in Your Own Custom-Made Vehicles!
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DFG Exclusive Review Summary
- Creative and open-ended puzzles.
- Retains Angry Birds' zany sense of humor
- Includes fun sandbox levels to experiment in
- Charming and goofy cartoon visuals
- It might be a little difficult to grasp at first
- Some puzzles require very specific solutions
› Read Full Bad Piggies Review
A Look at the Other Side
We all know the Angry Birds and their never-ending war against their egg-stealing nemeses, the Bad Piggies. Time and time again, we’ve seen the bird topple over the pigs’ many ingenious but ultimately inept fortresses.
However, with Bad Piggies, we now get a look at the other side of the fence, see what the pigs do when they’re not getting smacked around by the wingless avians.
What you’ll get is another unique physics-based puzzler where you design, build and test some of the wackiest vehicles you could ever think of!
Get the Plans!
The Bad Piggies are at it again. Their king is cooking up another scheme to get himself some delicious bird eggs and this time, he’s sure to succeed. There’s no way those feathered fiends will stop him now.
Unfortunately, just as his minions finish drawing up the plans, the papers find their way into a stray fan and get shredded up. The scraps of paper scatter to the winds and the pigs set out to go get them. Not content to just do things the easy way, the pigs opt to construct a series of vehicles in an attempt to reach the scraps more quickly.
The goal of every level of Bad Piggies is to construct a vehicle that will bring the pig to the scrap of paper at the end. You’re limited in what parts you can use and how many are available, so you have to choose wisely in putting your cart together.
Don’t worry; it’s easier than it looks. Just place the parts onto the grid and you’ll have an instant and hopefully working vehicle! Just watch out; the terrain is pretty treacherous and it’s going to take a creative mind to assemble a decent cart with the pigs’ materials.
- Put together a vehicle with all sorts of unexpected devices. Use bellows, fans, shaken-up bottles of soda, boxes of dynamite and more!
- Roll up and down hills, through narrow caverns, and across gaping chasms.
- Gravity is not always your friend. It may roll you down a hill, but it can also cause your cart to flip over or fall apart.
- Avoid environmental hazards like explosives or use them to your advantage.
- Time yourself properly. You can activate some of the more sophisticated components of your vehicle while it’s in motion. Learn when to pump your bellows, shake up the soda bottles, and turn your fans on and off to get where you need to go.
Earn a Higher Score
It’s not enough to just get the paper scraps. If you want to earn every last gold star in Bad Piggies, you’re going to need to go above and beyond what the game intends.
- Finish each level within the specified amount of time.
- Grab all the star crates that are scattered throughout the world.
- Get your vehicle to the end in one piece.
Bad Piggies Review
The Other Side of the Coin
Ever since 2009, the world has witnessed the breakout of a war between two factions. On one side is a flock of furious feathered fiends, while the other consists of a vast drift of swine with a taste for egg yolk.
Time and time again, the birds have led one assault after another, knocking down the pigs’ fortresses with the most advanced slingshot technology that money can buy. They have fought in the savannahs, in the jungles, at school, during Halloween, and even in outer space. However, the birds are only one half of the equation and Rovio has finally set out to show us things from the pigs’ perspectives for once.
Like Angry Birds, Bad Piggies is a physics-based puzzle game where you go from one level to the next collecting an assortment of stars. However, this is no Angry Birds game. It’s a completely different beast altogether. While the birds smash, the pigs build. Bad Piggies is all about tapping into your little engineer. In this regard, the game not only feels remarkably fresh from the old Angry Birds formula, but it is likely one of the most original titles ever put together in recent years.
An Evil Scheme Gone Bad
You have to hand it to the Bad Piggies. No matter how much the Angry Birds knock them down, they just never give up! They are currently up to their most insidious plot yet. The foul fowl will never suspect that their eggs have been taken until it is too late. Nothing will stop them, as long as nothing happens to the plans.
Unfortunately, one clumsy freckle-faced little piglet accidentally turned on a fan, which shredded the plans up and scattered them to the four winds. The King Pig is most displeased by this turn of events. How is he going to get his favorite breakfast now? Nevertheless, a Bad Piggy never gives up; the runt sets off to collect the pieces, reassemble the plans, redeem himself, and make sure that his people will have omelettes for breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, he’ll also prove his engineering genius in the process!
The story is pretty standard Rovio fare, which means that while it’s unimportant, it’s still very funny to watch unfold. Unfortunately, Bad Piggies was not given the animated introduction that’s usually afforded to the Angry Birds; the story is only carried out by the silent and wordless comic book sequences between levels.
On the plus side, the comics are utilized to much greater effect. They get more of a plot actually going for each chapter of the game, all of which follow their own little episodes. They’re also a bit funnier than the birds’ antics; for some reason, the pigs just seem to open themselves up to more kinds of jokes.
Learn How to Build
The biggest obstacle to enjoying Bad Piggies might just be the concept itself. Right at the beginning, you’re pretty much thrown to the pigs as it were. You’re given a few seemingly random parts, a grid to build them on, and then you’re set loose. It’s not made abundantly clear what exactly you’re supposed to do.
To be fair, this isn’t because Rovio completely failed to explain things properly with the presentation. They attempt to do so by letting you peruse a series of illustrations that do some measure of getting the point across efficiently. It’s mostly because of the game’s association with the more easily-grasped Angry Birds, as well as the fact that there just hasn’t been anything quite like Bad Piggies before. It’s easy to get a little thrown off at first.
Thankfully, Bad Piggies is actually very easy to understand once you get over that first bump. The goal of every level is to construct a vehicle that will guide your pig across the scenery and to an end goal of sorts. The goal changes depending on the level; in the first set of stages, it’s a shred of paper containing the plans for the pigs’ next egg-napping scheme, while the second involves getting all the bits of shrapnel from an ill-timed explosion.
Every puzzle typically has two phases. The first is where you simply build your vehicle. You’re limited in how big of a machine you can put together and how many components you can use. The second part is the execution. Your creation rolls off and it becomes up to you to decide when and where to activate its components.
Needless to say, Bad Piggies is a much more nuanced game than Angry Birds. The puzzles are bigger, the mechanics are more complex, and there are more “things” you have to use to win. Fortunately, Rovio really did one heck of a job in educating the player in how to utilize its mechanics. Every level you come to effectively introduces a new trick or gizmo without ever pausing anything for an annoying tutorial.
At the beginning, you’ll simply learn the importance of placement and weight distribution as you put together fairly simple carts that are at the mercy of gravity. As you get farther on, the game provides more exotic gadgets, gizmos and tools you can add to your cart. These include fans that can get it moving when turned on, bottles of soda that can be shaken up at any time to provide a quick burst of speed, umbrellas that can slow down a fall, and crates of TNT that can propel the cart with a well-timed explosion. Later levels start to add things like balloons, propellers and wings that allow you to fly! Everything adds up at a brisk and gradual pace, so you’ll never feel overwhelmed by options or bogged down by tedious repetition.
There’s More Than Just the End
Like the Angry Birds series, just completing every level is not all there is to Bad Piggies. There are ample stars to collect as well. However, this game differs from Rovio’s other offerings in that there are different ways to get the stars. In some levels, they’re in boxes that you have to grab before hitting the end goal. In others, you have to reach the goal within a designated amount of time. Some stars have even more specified requirements, like completing a puzzle without using a specific part or keeping the vehicle in one piece from beginning to end.
Although it’s sometimes possible to get all of the stars in one go, it’s not particularly necessary. More often than not, the solution to getting each star is to experiment with different kinds of vehicles. Getting a timed star will often require that you build a light and aerodynamic machine that can stay on the move and access shortcuts. Meanwhile, grabbing stars that are scattered around the level will often demand that you use a vehicle that was specifically designed to be able to reach them.
Although it sounds like this puts the game in danger of feeling padded, it actually works remarkably well and showcases what truly makes Bad Piggies feel special. The game encourages you to constantly experiment and think outside the box. There is no single “correct” way to get a star or complete a puzzle. It’s all determined by your own ingenuity.
Hence, while the game affectionately pokes fun at the Wright brothers and the tales of how they mastered flight, it also does a great job at effectively simulating the experience for you. Every puzzle has a solution and every engineering failure on your part will bring you closer to it.
It certainly helps that Bad Piggies is just so much fun to watch. The cartoony visuals are every bit as personable as the more recent Angry Birds titles. The outlandish vehicles that you can fabricate move in a believable way and the lone pig you have commandeering them reacts to their motion when appropriate. When things are going well, he’s calm. When it speeds up, he cheers excitedly. When things go out of control or the machine starts to fall apart, he looks understandably frightened and starts squealing in terror.
There’s a lot of slapstick to be had in the game and it’s always good for a laugh to watch your little hunk of junk get blown to bits over and over again. Even more funny is how even a complete disaster can still see you through. Your whole machine could explode, fall apart, crash or fall off the face of the planet, but as long as the pig hits the goal, you’ll still win. Some levels even seem to be designed specifically to destroy your vehicle after a successful run, with oddly-placed TNT crates stacked right next to the end goal.
A Little Too Specific Sometimes
Experimentation is the name of the game. That fact alone can make the realization of some puzzle solutions a little disappointing. While Bad Piggies is usually really good about giving you plenty of space to do your own thing, it doesn’t always live up to it. Some stars require a specific vehicle to be built and a specific order of events to be carried out.
Not only does this lead to a lot of frustration, but it really hurts the otherwise open nature of the game. It’s made even worse when you have the two-step puzzle solving to take into account, since it’s not always obvious if you went wrong in your construction or execution. The good news is that this will seldom ever happen for basic level completion. Just be prepared to redo some levels over and over again for possibly up to an hour if you want to get every star that is available.
Play in the Sandbox
If the act of building and testing out your creations ends up being the most appealing part to Bad Piggies, then rest assured that Rovio has you covered. The game includes an array of sandbox levels. These stages are simply massive; they’re bigger than anything in the main game, are a whole lot crazier, and have an absurd number of stars to collect as well. Though they can exist to test everything you learned in the main game, they’re main purpose is to let you go literally hog-wild with your designs.
Do you want to construct a propeller-powered blimp of sorts that’s filled to the brim with TNT? Do you want to put together a rocket-propelled train? How does a two-dimensional boxy rendition of a biplane sound? Just about anything is possible in the Bad Piggies sandbox.
Granted, you don’t have a whole lot of stuff to work with at the beginning, but as you play through the normal game and collect stars, you’ll be given more and more components to use in the sandbox. In this regards, Bad Piggies constantly rewards you for playing intelligently. There’s always some new toy awaiting that can make the open-ended sandbox mode even more enjoyable.
Conclusion - It's Good to be Bad!
Bad Piggies may have a few bad parts, but overall, it’s a wonderfully original physics-based puzzle game that can easily stand on its own two feet. The puzzles are inventive, the solutions are usually open-ended, and there are plenty of challenging problems to solve and stars to collect.
Better yet, the sandbox mode all but guarantees that the fun in Bad Piggies never has to end. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that this is not an Angry Birds game. It might take place in the same universe, it may star the same characters, it may have the same visual style, but it’s a completely different game altogether.
If you are in the mood for a different kind of puzzler that lets you tap into your creative side, then by all means get Bad Piggies. In fact, get it regardless of your opinion of Angry Birds. Despite the name, there’s not a whole lot that’s bad about it!
- Review by David Galvin
Dave Galvin is a freelance writer and avid gamer. Somehow, he managed to find a way to combine the two passions.
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