There’s been so many versions and updates to Angry Birds that I think we can all collectively say we’ve had our fill of the furious fowl. Rovio dabbled in extending their franchise with the release of Casey’s Contraptions 2.0, aka Amazing Alex, but Bad Piggies is their first full fledged game after Angry Birds, and it’s conveniently a spin-off. The green pigs now have their own game, and there isn’t a bird in sight as you help the pigs collect map pieces to collect eggs. While the characters are familiar the gameplay is completely different than Angry Birds, though there’s a distinct connection to Fantastic Contraption in the way Angry Birds is like Crush the Castle.
Bad Piggies main focus is bringing the relatively complex physics puzzle style to the more casual gamer, just like they did with Angry Birds. The first thing you notice is the high level of polish that Rovio is known for, and then there’s a super easy game mechanic that is slowly but surely increased to a challenging level. In each of the 60 levels, you’re giving various parts to use, and you try to create a vehicle that can get the pig to the finish line. You use boxes, wheels, fans, bellows, balloons, bottle rockets, and more and the contraption just needs to get the pig to the finish, even if it falls apart along the way.
This game is another example of the ingenuity and engineering prowess of the pigs, as we know the complex structures they have created. The major difference in Bad Piggies is that those pigs that you’ve come to dislike are actually quite likable characters as they’re so amusing smacking around, and barely hanging on to the finish with various chortles and chuckles as compared to laughing at you when you fail in Angry Birds. The entire theme is great, and it just makes the new physics puzzle style relatable. The control scheme is smooth as well so anyone can pick it up and instantly understand what to do with a fixed grid layout, specific parts, and simple touch controls.
The difficulty curve is another aspect Rovio nails, so that nothing is ever too challenging, and yet never too easy either. The new parts are introduced at a nice pace, and the level design is superb. Possibly the best aspect is that the three star scoring system is shifted from simply point based to providing three objectives to shoot for. There are objectives for time, specific boxes to collect, not using certain parts, not crashing, and more. Some of the objectives will require multiple runs with different contraptions to achieve. The three star system also lets you unlock bonus levels with 30 extra challenging levels available for excelling on the other 60 levels. The design also allows for multiple solutions to a given puzzle, which is always nice for a physics puzzler.