Bad Piggies, Rovio’s latest game release, lets you see the other side of the Angry Birds story. Rather than flinging birds at the green pigs, you have to safely (and sometimes not so safely) guide the pigs across a rocky course in a makeshift vehicle, to a finish line where pieces of a map lay that will lead them to the coveted bird eggs. Crafting each vessel for the win involves building a contraption using anything from wood and metal boxes, wheels, balloons, umbrellas, soda bottles, fans, motors, and TNT, all involving crashes, and occasionally, blind luck.
Bad Piggies leaves more room for creativity than Angry Birds and there is more than one way to win each level. There are plenty of items to collect along the way, including strategically placed skulls that unlock additional levels. The game flew to #1 in the App Store within three hours after its release, showing that people were excited to see what Rovio would come up with next.
The design of your contraption is up to your creativity and the tools you have been given. By placing the items on a predetermined grid, you build a machine that will get your pig safely to the finish line. You can control the motors, soda bottles, umbrellas and other propulsion contraptions either by touching the objects on the device itself or by using action prompts on the bottom of the screen.
For instance, if you need to strategically time out your soda bottle deployment, you can simply touch the soda bottle you want to use at that time, whereas, if you touch the control at the bottom of the screen, all soda bottles facing that direction will deploy. Also, if you go back to levels you previously won, the contraption you last built will automatically show up on the grid.
While playing Bad Piggies, you can get instructions on how to use a certain device or how to propel the pig in the right direction from an illustrated book. The illustrations are cute, but when the levels get more difficult, they are difficult to decipher. In these instances, written instructions, rather than just the illustrations, are preferable.
Sometimes there are restrictions on the contraption you build; for instance, you might have to get the pig to the finish line without using a motor or a soda bottle. In the pig’s world, soda bottles can be used as “MacGyvered” rockets, propelling the pig and your contraption into the air. Even better, you can sometimes get the pig in motion and then launch him to his destination with carefully placed TNT.
Some levels also include the King Pig who takes up four spots on the building grid, and one of the three goals requires getting the King Pig over the finish line while he rides shotgun. Every element added into the cart changes its physics, weighing it down, making it go faster, making it go slower, etc. So the more elements each level adds, the more there is to consider about each contraption.
There are two main levels at launch, Groundhog Day and When Pigs Fly. There is a third level pack, named Sandbox, which features unlockable stages. Each level has three goals that can be won in separate races to the finish line, and it is not always possible to complete all three goals in one shot, which adds greatly to replayability.
The one constant goal requires you to get the pig to the finish line in any way, shape, or form. This even includes using nothing but the pig himself, letting him free fall down a slope; whatever gets him there. The other two goals are generally more complicated and include challenges such as time constraints, getting your cart to the finish line intact, and running the pig through star boxes placed along the course.
After every four levels, there is a blue level that can be unlocked by obtaining a certain number of stars from the previous four levels. These levels are darker and eerier, and the road to the finish line is usually much longer.
Part 2 covers Graphics, Sound, and draws some conclusions about Bad Piggies.