When pigs fly they probably do it to be able to eat fruit and pizza hanging in the sky. Since we generally don`t have our atmosphere filled with quick carbs, succulent apples and coloured pegs I have not seen a pig fly past yet. Not having seen a flying pig is not proof that a pig can`t fly. It is not until we manage to hang food freely in the air that we will know if these large mammals are actually close relatives to birds. In the world of Pixel Pig pigs fly, and food hangs in the air.
Pixel Pix is a combination of pachinko, arcade coin tossing machines and Peggle. By dragging backward on the plunger at the right of the screen you set the power, and release to let Pixel Pig go. It emerges from a cup at the top of the screen, and starts falling. Bouncing off pegs, and eating fruit until reaching the mud below. To control our heroic piece of flying bacon you can tilt your iOS device. If stuck, or slowly rolling down a ramp you can shake to jump. Finally there is the gas button that lets our ham hero fly for a while. Together with tilting you have limited control, but just enough to feel that you can develop your skills.
There are medals to gain for each level. Bronze, and above unlocks the next level. Attaining the silver and gold medals takes a combination of skill, and loads of luck. Food refills the gas letting you propel Pixel Pig upwards to more points. There are also vital score multipliers to activate to have any chance of a high score.
Loads of achievements are available, and actually help you progress in the game. Upgrade points are gained from medals and achievements. The upgrades include better tilt controls, bigger pig and higher gas capacity.
With 40 levels Pixel Pig gives quite a few hours of casual pig flying fun. It is a truly casual experience not too far from pachinko, but with some of the skill of Peggle thrown into the mix. The game doesn`t grab me, and it is easy to forget while not playing. When I play it though it is really hard to put down. That one more try behaviour becomes evident in me when I fail to even gain bronze medals for levels. Game Center integration caters for online leaderboards, and achievements.
The presentation in Pixel Pig is retro taking a lot of inspiration from classics such as Pac-Man. It is quite simple, but highly effective in creating an experience easy on the senses. Some effects are more modern such as the gas vapour trail. A simple tutorial shows all controls in eight simple steps. The music is crazy farmyard kids music that is nice for the first five minutes, but then starts to become annoying. There is no clear way to turn the music off, and it is heard in the background when you play your own music.
Pixel Pig is a nice casual game that works well for both the five minute break, and the two hour train ride. It lacks slightly in presentation, and music but makes up for it in playability. I would like to have more impact, and more direct controls but then it would loose the pachinko element. Try the free add-supported version Pixel Pig Retro before you buy the paid version. I might have to warn you though that you may not get a choice whether to buy the full version or not, as it can get really addictive and three bucks is not much for a 40-level fix.
Pixel Pig $2.99
Seller: Thom Denick