Pigs Can’t Fly

I think Don’t Feed the Trolls proved my argument that online leader boards (even the ghettoized peer-to-peer ones that are the only option for XBLIGs) can make the difference between a game being worth a purchase and a game that will run out of fun before you run out of demo time. Pigs Can’t Fly is the poster child for the latter.  It’s a scoring-driven reflex tester that’s not unlike the iPhone hit Tiny Wings.  And when I say not-unlike, I mean it’s damn near the same fucking game.  Replace a plump bird with a pig and voilà, you have Pigs Can’t Fly.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you’re going to do this kind of clone, at least get the online scoring in it to give people a reason to keep playing.

Pigs Can’t Fly is slightly different from its iOS inspiration.  It’s still based on sliding up and down hills while trying to build up momentum by going from a glide into a dive at just the right moment.  The big difference here is the inclusion of power-ups that you can buy once you’ve collected enough stars while playing the game.  There is a booster, which gives you a little extra nudge.  I found this to be almost worthless.  I figured this would be handy if you fuck up the timing on a dive and lose all your speed.  But it doesn’t help you get up a hill all that much faster.  Once you’re on the other side of a hill, you should be able to start regaining speed on your own, and all using the boost then will do is cause you to splatter your piggy and lose your speed again.

There’s also a glide, which assists in your ability to fly, and a magnet that helps you suck up stars.  These do work, and are a welcome addition to the formula.  Still, the game isn’t all that well made.  Pigs Can’t Fly is pretty unforgiving with its timing.  Sometimes you’ll dive in what sure seems like the perfect spot to do so and end up losing all your velocity because the game registered you hitting a flat piece of turf, even if you’re nowhere near it.  Because of this, my previous guess that Pigs Can’t Fly would be a good game, at least for the kiddie set, seems invalidated as well.  As it turns out, pigs can neither fly nor star in a decent clone of a popular iOS title.  If this was Charlotte’s Web the writing in the web would say “Mmmmm, Bacon” and Charlotte would be laughing her sick ass off while Fern ate her former best friend.

There’s a visual that won’t be leaving my head anytime soon.

Pigs Can’t Fly was developed by Matt Mitman

80 Microsoft Points childishly sung “birdie birdie in the sky, why did you poopie in my eye?  It’s okay, I won’t cry.  I thank the lord that pigs don’t fly” in the making of this review. 

Gameplay footage courtesy of http://Indies.onPause.org

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

2 Responses to Pigs Can’t Fly

  1. John Devoy says:

    I found it pretty easy to control, not a bad little game.

  2. Matt says:

    Have you played Tiny Wings? I played that to death, and Pigs Can’t Fly is damn near unplayable in comparison. Unresponsive, ugly, weird gravity, and worst of all its levels have flat parts in them where it’s actually impossible to maintain your flow. What the fuck was that all about?

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