Pig Shot Review
Sometimes, when it comes to games, simpler is better. This is especially true of iOS games. A pick-up-and-play experience is the perfect thing for a phone that’s always in your pocket. Pig Shot definitely uses this design mentality, featuring a simple yet addictive gameplay mechanic and little else. It’s coupled with great controls and a charming cartoon style, but somehow, bowling a pig down a field eventually loses its lustre.
Your only real goal in Pig Shot is to keep your pig rolling for as long as possible. You’ll start by launching it from a giant slingshot, the titular pigshot, which will cause it to start rolling up to the top of the screen across a seemingly never ending field. You collect stars to earn points, and at certain intervals you’ll reach another pigshot. That is, if your pig doesn’t stop first.
Along the way you’ll come across a variety of obstacles. There’s sheep, fences, rocks, and trees that will stop you dead in your pig tracks, as well as puddles of some unknown substance that will slow you down. If your pig rolls to a stop, it’s game over. Thankfully, in addition to obstacles there’s a few power-ups to help keep you rolling. Arrows will cause you to speed up, while collecting cabbage will allow your pig to let out a gaseous speed boost upon tapping the screen. The controls in the game are both responsive and simple, and make great use of the iPhone’s unique input methods. You launch the pigshot by pulling back and releasing your finger on the touch screen, and you control its movements by tilting the phone. It’s intuitive enough to understand right away, which makes the game very accessible.
Like most arcade-style games, the driving factor for Pig Shot is the ever elusive high score. There’s no end to the game so you can continuously rack up more and more points, depending on your skill level. But while this is initially quite addictive, it doesn’t have much lasting appeal. There simply isn’t enough variety to the gameplay to make you want to keep playing indefinitely. The game does include Openfeint integration and a feature that lets you send invitations to friends via email — though strangely, neither Twitter nor Facebook are supported. It’s a nice touch but what Pig Shot really needs is an additional game mode or two to keep things from getting stale.
As it stands, Pig Shot is definitely fun and addictive, but only for a limited time. With only one game mode and no real level progression, it won’t take long before the game starts to lose its initial appeal. It’s good to pick up and play for a few minutes at a time, but beyond that, you’ll probably want to keep this pig in the pen.