Spoiler alert!Bad Piggies offers a new twist on the physics/maze puzzle games. It combines the maze challenges of games like Where's My Water with the Rube Goldberg ingenuity of Casey's Contraptions (now offered as Rovio's Amazing Alex) to create an Angry Birds spin off that will stump the best minds. Best Buy.
Until Angry Birds Star Wars, Bad Piggies was, hands down, the best game of the year. Birds creator Rovio clearly outdid themselves for all of two months. Taking second place to the best installment of a thoroughbred series is still pretty damn good, and for once the piggies have a chance to win.
The concept is simple but elegant. The pigs have to navigate a maze with a vehicle they design. Each level presents a new challenge that needs a new design. Finishing isn't enough, however. The pigs have to collect stars and bonus skulls, finish time trials, avoid destruction and even safely ferry passengers.
The machines can be incredibly complex, allowing you to flip, roll and loop thought tunnels. You may have to try several different designs to finish a level.
Players begin with simple goals and train for increasingly difficult challenges with a wider variety of tools. They begin by propelling themselves through the maze with TNT. They add box frames, a variety of wheels and even soda bottle propulsion. From there they progress to springs, umbrellas, balloons, motors, fans, propellors, wings and tail fins. Some levels require multiple passes with different vehicles to master.
The first level requires players to master ground transport. The second layer introduces balloon flight and by the third players will be building airplanes and helicopters with rocket propulsion. The more stars players earn, the more bonus challenges they unlock. Some of the puzzles are straightforward but others are mind-bendingly twisted, requiring players to flip, spin and even loop their vehicles backward.
Vehicles have to navigate hazardous tunnels, sometimes leaping over chasms and other times avoiding bobby traps and natural hazards.
Players who master the game levels also unlock sand boxes for experimental play. Each sandbox contains twenty stars to be collected. The more stages players complete, the more parts are added to their toolbox, allowing them to create incredibly complex machines (some of which will go nowhere or self-destruct quickly).
If players get stuck they can buy blueprints for each stage ($10 for 60 blue prints). A more cost-effective aid is the Piggy Guide walkthrough for $3, which provides written descriptions, illustrations and even complete video playback. The interface for the Piggy Guide isn't as slick as the interface for the Angry Birds All-in-One walk through, but the solutions are far more clearly described.
The art work isn't as spectacular as the Angry Birds entries, and the color palette is pretty muted. Designers focus almost exclusively on earth tones, so the color doesn't leap off the screen. But the overall design is entertaining and nothing in the graphics distracts from gameplay.
The more levels you master the more tools you will find in your sandboxes. The sandboxes have no specific objectives except to collect all the stars. You can make as many passes and as many different vehicles as you like.
As with Angry Birds, Rovio adds new levels every few months, so the game should challenge for a long time. If you're tired of shooting birds at defenseless piggies and want to do something constructive for a change, Bad Piggies is a great way to divert yourself for an hour or two, or even five minutes at a time.
Jenny Manytoes rates Bad Piggies
Jenny Manytoes would make biscuits all over Bad Piggies. The game design is unique, play intriguing and puzzles range from simple to mind-melting. No one will blow through this in a couple of days. Best Buy, unless we're talking about Angry Birds Star Wars and then it's a second-best buy.
The Jenny Manytoes Rating System