iPhone Life magazine

Review: Pig Shot by Nexx Studio

Not too long ago I previewed this fun new casual game called Pig Shot.  Well, now it’s in the App Store for you to purchase so I thought I’d give it a more thorough review.  Of course, the irony is that the game is rather simple (hence the term “casual”), and I really kind of covered it all in my preview, at least in a nutshell.  Still, I’m sure I can find a few more words to say about it, so here’s my look at the game Pig Shot.
The premise of the game is simple: you need to keep a pig rolling along a forest path as long as you can by flinging it from slingshot to slingshot.  The controls are simple enough.  You just drag the slingshot and let go to launch the pig, and then tilt the device to steer.  The only other control in the game is sort of a reverse “pull my finger” trick.  Along the way the pig can eat cabbages if you roll over them, and each cabbage partially fills a gas meter.  Pressing your finger on the screen will release gas until you let go or the gauge is empty, and the gas gives the pig some acceleration when it’s starting to limp along.  There are also arrows from time to time that speed up the pig, and lots of stars for you to collect to earn points.

Death By SheepThere are plenty of obstacles to try and stop you dead in your tracks.  Pieces of fence, rocks and tree parts will all slow you down or stop you depending on how “head on” you hit them.  There are also puddles of water that will slow your progress.  You can even get caught on the slingshot if you accidentally hit the posts instead of the blue part of the slingshot.  As for moving targets, the only thing I’ve run across is sheep.  If nothing else it would be nice to have a couple of different animal types, but I’m sure they could have had other things sliding back and forth as well.

Pig Shot is pretty much a “get as far as you can” game, but I like it because unlike most games in this genre it’s not one continuous trip until you can’t go any more.  Because you continually need the slingshots to regain your momentum there’s actually a bit of strategy involved.  Early on you can possibly afford to skip a slingshot if you’ve got plenty of cabbage stored up or there are some arrows to run over.  As the game progresses and the obstacles get more abundant and the slingshots get further apart, however, you really need to be conscious about getting every one of the slingshots.  It also helps that the perspective is a bit different since there are no platforms involved.

The graphics are cute and colorful.  The animation is well done, with the poor little pig rolling on his back with tongue hanging out when it finally kicks the bucket.  There are even obvious signs that the fires are burning when you hit the gas button.  The most amusing part, however, is that the stars have little pig snouts on them.  The visuals are pleasant enough for adults to look at, and I’m sure they would keep kids entertained as well.

The sound effects could use a bit of work.  They’re not bad, but they’re pretty generic and it sounds pretty much the same no matter what you hit.  Plus, the pig and sheep should make some noise from time to time.  On the other hand, I do enjoy the music.  It’s not overly original, and in fact it can get repetitive over time, but for some reason I have a soft spot for banjo music.  Maybe it’s the Hee Haw trapped in my soul.

Pig Shot is a fun, addictive casual game.  The graphics are bright and colorful, the music is upbeat, and the controls are easy to master.  A little variety might be nice, especially when it comes to background and enemy animals, but there’s certainly enough here to keep you rolling along for quite some time.  Plus, Pig Shot is a good one to share with the kids if you’ve got some.

Overall Score: 9/10
App Store Link

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Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.