Best iPhone games: Bad Piggies

CVG hand-picks the greatest mobile games available to download right now

Mobile games are fun, simple and accessible, but that doesn't mean they are lightweight or insignificant. They have the ability to bend time and make commutes bearable; they transform idle moments into thrilling distractions. In a new series, CVG celebrates the most impressive examples of this exciting new wave of games.

Click through the link to find our full list of the best mobile games.


Best iPhone games: Bad Piggies

Also available on:
iPad (HD), Android

Bad Piggies isn't for you, right? It's an Angry Birds spin-off with a terribly twee title, after all - hardly the sort of stuff to tempt you away from Call Of Duty.

It may not be fashionable to admit it, but Bad Piggies is an excellent mobile game. Rovio's new release is (literally) a vehicle for Angry Birds' bad guys - you must get the porky green blobs to the goal in any way possible by building a contraption with which to transport your former foes.

It's Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts mixed in with one of Rovio's lesser-known recent releases, Amazing Alex. You begin each stage by cobbling together your cart from a collection of wheels and boxes and placing one of the Piggies inside. Release your contraption onto the landscape and on-screen buttons activate the fans, shaken-up cola bottles and pairs of bellows you have attached to it. In later stages, pigs fly - balloons make for a welcome change in pace for aerial challenges.

Building a working vehicle by placing its components down onto the grid is simpler than it sounds, and creativity is encouraged. Just like Amazing Alex and Angry Birds, you arrive at solutions through a mixture of good planning and plain good luck. Bad Piggies is a game which you somehow muddle through - you are given a goal, a very broad framework to work in and, by hook or by crook, you get Piggy to the goal. Success relies upon constant tweaking and trial and error, but that makes Bad Piggies sound a little dry - it is actually brilliant fun unleashing your unlikely three-wheeled wooden vehicles just to see what happens.

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Get stuck, and you can ask a mechanic to build the right shape and size of vehicle for you. 'Like' the Piggies on Facebook and you get three free mechanics, but the rest are paid-for - 10 are £1.49, 35 are £3.99 and 65 are £6.99. It should be stressed that help is strictly optional, but many players will need it, as Bad Piggies is a surprisingly difficult game. Getting stuck sometimes requires a radical re-working of your strategy, a process which again falls back on both careful thought and trial and error.

Getting three stars on each stage is genuinely tough. Getting the pig to the goal gifts you one star, but to max them out you must either collect two star blocks or snaffle one while reaching the goal within a set time limit. An extra sandbox mode is a welcome addition and allows Rovio's robust physics engine to really show what it can do. You are given an array of items (Collected by completing stages in the 'main' game) and you are asked to build a much larger vehicle for your circular chum to collect as many stars as possible. Rovio acknowledges here that sometimes it's enough to just give players a fun set of tools and let them play around with them.

Bad Piggies is a rewarding game, and one that's oddly bewitching. It starts simply, but within an hour's play you are constructing ramshackle but complex cars and aircraft powered by actual engines and worrying about weight distribution. Getting to that point might frustrate more casual players - hence the hint system - but Bad Piggies' challenge is fulsome enough for gamers of many years' experience to tackle. It has that same vital time-swallowing quality that Angry Birds has, and though admittedly it looks a little twee, it should not be dismissed. Shelve your preconceptions, defy the doubters and embrace Bad Piggies.

Bad Piggies is £0.69 on the App Store. Download it here.

Bad Piggies HD is £1.99 on the App Store. Download it here.

Bad Piggies is free on Android. Download it here.