Now I know what you're thinking. It's extremely easy to hate on Angry Birds. The game is loved by children everywhere, it has been played by countless gamers and non-gamers alike, the merchandise is flying off the shelves, etc. I personally didn't mind Angry Birds but it never had the staying power or challenge that I was craving from a mobile game. Enter Bad Piggies .
Bad Piggies is Rovio's 3rd series for the iPhone/Android market. Besides Angry Birds (and its variations), Rovio made Amazing Alex which was met with a "meh" response... probably because Alex was not as marketable as the birds were and the gameplay was not as addicting or easy to pick up and just mindlessly play. Bad Piggies feels like a healthy marriage of the awesome characters from Angry Birds with the puzzle/challenge of Amazing Alex. Bad Piggies is, of course, free if you want a version with non-intrusive ads or you can pay 99 cents for the ad-free version. The game is available for iPhone and Android devices.
Build your own pig carrying contraptions
Now you may be wondering what kind of gameplay is in Bad Piggies and why should you give the pigs a shot. The story behind Bad Piggies is basic, where the pigs are conspiring to get some eggs to eat and they draw up a map to get to them. Problem is, the map is shredded by a fan and is now in pieces across all the levels... of course in hard to reach places for a pig to get to. You must guide the pigs through each level by designing a vehicle with parts that are available to the piece of map at the end of each level. The challenge comes in by trying to 3-star each level and getting your contraption to the goal in one piece and various other challenges. Some levels require you to get your pig to the end of the level by any means possible, some require you to pick up a star box along the way, some require you to complete the level quickly, etc. Not all of the 3-star challenges are done in one playthrough however, which one would think would lower the difficulty, but it ultimately makes sense in the end. For example, one level wants you to get the star box and finish under 7 seconds. Problem is, the star box is to the left and the finish is to the right... making it impossible to accomplish both in one run. So you get one star for getting the pig to the finish, one star for getting the star box, then you try the level again and get the final star by reaching the finish completely. Strange but still challenging and addictive.
I guess pigs really can fly
Depending on what you slap on your design, once the pig is in motion you can control it by turning on attached fans, exploding TNT, shaking up soda bottles for rockets, popping balloons, and more. For those gamers looking for more challenge, the difficulty ramps up with new pieces and also includes more challenging levels to fill that need as well as getting 3 stars in each level.
I personally don't know if Bad Piggies will share the same success as Angry Birds but it deserves to be looked at by more hardcore gamers as it caters to that crowd more so than it does to the casual market that Angry Birds went after. Each puzzle takes a lot of trial and error and proper designs are needed in later levels if you hope to make it to finish. Surely kids will enjoy the game as they get to build whatever device they want and see if it works. Also, I will personally say that it is enjoyable each time you see the designs fall apart and see the pig go flying. Regardless if the game is successful, I have no doubt that there will be toys and merchandise based on the game and they will sell like hotcakes. You'll probably see a variation or two in the future as well, just like Angry Birds (Rio, Seasons, Space). Try out the game, it's better than you may expect... and heck it's free!