There is no denying how much of a runaway – or perhaps slingshotaway – success Angry Birds, in all its incarnations, has been. Rovio, the game’s developer and creator, raked in well over $100 million in 2011 from the franchise, and is on track to do much more than that with their new game, Bad Piggies.
A spinoff of Angry Birds, Bad Piggies puts players in control of the antagonist from Rovio’s first franchise, and does away with birds entirely. In fact, Bad Piggies has little to do with the original series at all. You don’t control the pigs so much as create vehicles and contraptions for them to collect stars and various items through levels to reach their end point. You place various pieces of the puzzles down to float, roll, fly, or push the piggies along to their destination.
Where Angry Birds was very much a one-trick pony (you throw birds of various abilities to kill all the pigs), Bad Piggies is much different. In fact, you’re never really in danger of killing your pig, but rather, making it impossible to reach your goal. But that’s the trick. You know you can’t kill your pig(s), but how much can you put them through before they’re stuck between two hills they’ll never be able to climb again?
The difficulty level also ramps up because of this, and it becomes very frustrating in early levels and down-right difficult in later levels as there is little control you have over your contraptions once you’ve built it and let it go. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, as the difficulty level just makes you think about how you can construct items differently to create more and more unique solutions to the daunting challenges.
The best thing about Bad Piggies has to be its sheer creativity. We’re not sure that the developers even had time to go through every single item to create any possible permutation of contraption, but that’s the beauty here. In a sort of LittleBigPlanet way, Rovio has managed to create a game that carefully (within a closed wall, of course) lets you create something relatively original. To solve problems in ways that you might not expect to be able to. And that’s a pretty tall order for an iOS game.
Rovio has another hit on its hands and, while we don’t see it reaching the franchise success of Angry Birds, we’re sure that this game will do incredible on every platform it’s released on. We’ve played through the game twice already because it is just that much fun starting from scratch with nothing, and it’s interesting because no two play throughs will ever be exactly the same.
A test of true success in the gaming market is not the amount of reviews or articles a game has written about it, but the number of videos dedicated to the game that are released on YouTube and other sites. Since Bad Piggies launched just a few weeks ago, there are already hundreds of tutorial videos on YouTube showing players how to play through each level to completion.
We played the iPad version of the game, and tested out the iPhone/iPod touch version only briefly. The controls on the iPhone game are very difficult to use coming from the larger screen variant, but the game is just as much fun. Take a look at a brief gameplay video below and see for yourself what you’re in for. Or, just download it now!