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"Bad Piggies"

Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva, Associated Press

BAD PIGGIES

★★★ 1/2 out of four stars

Publisher: Rovio.

Systems: Mobile, Mac, PC.

Price: Free.

Rating: All ages.

'Bad Piggies' brings home the bacon

  • Article by: RICCI KEARNEY
  • McClatchy News Service
  • October 27, 2012 - 4:46 PM

Rovio has returned to dominate your mobile screens once again with the newest followup to the "Angry Birds" franchise.

With a new focus and new game-play mechanics, "Bad Piggies" has a simple plot.

The Piggies are once again on the hunt for eggs, but this time it is up to you to get them to their destination. The game play in "Bad Piggies" is what sets it apart from the "Angry Birds" flock. Gone is the slingshot, and in its place is a customizable vehicle creation system similar to "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts."

At the beginning of every level, you are given a certain number of pieces to build your vehicle. The goal is to make it down the hill and to the finish line. The game has an idea book marked with a light bulb to give you a hint on how your build should go. There is also a Piggie Mechanic who will build your vehicle for you, but at a price.

Unfortunately, "Bad Piggies" continues the trend of offering in-game upgrades for real-world dollars. I would have preferred the option to unlock this ability through normal game play.

There are also times in the game play where you might go the wrong direction. When this happens, the game just sits there and you are forced to restart the level from the beginning.

Restarting does have its upsides. In order to get all three stars for each level you must replay them and experiment with different vehicle creations to reach your goal. Completists will enjoy this, because it will allow them to find all hidden items in the game that in turn unlock more levels of game play. This creates instant replay ability for not only the game itself but also every level.

The graphics and presentation of the game are top-notch. Each world has a distinct feel, and the soundtrack is fun and inviting as well. Where the Piggies have been enemies before, here they are showcased as glorious green heroes that pop with vibrant color. The sound effects are also great as every explosion and sequel adds to the game's overall effect.

"Bad Piggies" is available on the Apple App Store, Mac App Store and Google Play and as a download for PC. Windows 8 and Windows Phone versions will be available soon.

The game has rolled into the No. 1 spot in the iTunes App Store. It has become Rovio's fastest-selling game yet.

With more than 70 levels, four sandbox levels to increase the level of creation and guaranteed free updates, "Bad Piggies" is on its way to proving that pigs can indeed fly.

© 2014 Star Tribune