|Da-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam. Hope these balloons save my bacon.|
- Review by: Mark Goninon
- Developer: DrinkingNails, LLC
- Publisher: DrinkingNails, LLC
- Release Date: 30 January 2017
- Time played: 3.8 hours
What is itBalloon Popping Pigs is basically a Flappy Bird clone but instead of navigating a bird through gaps between pipes, you instead navigate a floating pig (the pig is suspended in the air by three balloons) around birds (that are also suspended in the air by balloons, don't ask me why). The birds flying around are able to pop your balloons and if all three of your balloons are popped, it's game over. However, you're also able to pop the balloons that suspend the birds in mid-air and popping these will have them plummet to the ground below (although I'm sure they could just flap their wings to save themselves if they really wanted to). The longer you survive in the game and the more balloons you pop, the higher your score will be.
How I got itWhile on the lookout for more Steam games that were (a) family-friendly, (b) supported local co-op, (c) had full controller support and (d) was easy enough for a four-year-old to play, I came across, well, not many games. One of the few games I did come across was Balloon Popping Pigs and since it was on sale for a mere 84 US cents, it seemed worth the gamble.
What I like:
Family FriendlyThere's no bad language, no sex and no violence in this game (unless you consider animals plummeting to their potential off-screen deaths as violent). I was going to say there were no drug references either but it's interesting that when you pick the hippy pig (called Hipiggy) he bounces around on psychedelic rainbow clouds…
SimplicityThe beauty of this game is that like Flappy Bird, it's really easy for anyone to pick up and play – even a four-year old can figure it out.
Different modes including co-opI mainly got the game for its co-operative mode where you and another local player can attempt to complete levels together. There's also a whole bunch of competitive modes you can try out too.
Short gamesAs with many arcade and casual games, it only takes a few minutes to complete a game (even shorter if you're particularly incompetent).
Works on Steam LinkHooray! Not only does the game work on the Steam Link it also works with my Logitech F710 controllers… choooooiice!
RetroSome people don't like retro but I actually enjoy the pixelart as well as the MIDI-synths playing as background music.
15 different pigsIf you manage to earn 50 coins while playing the game you can use these coins to unlock new pigs; you can then select these unlocked pigs from the pig selection screen prior to starting a new game. While each pig performs the same as each other, you can at least make them stand out from the crowd as a hippy, police officer or clown (to name a few). As an added bonus, whenever you collect a 2x points modifier balloon each pig has different symbols that they throw around (e.g. peace symbols for the hippy, doughnuts for the police officer and confetti for the clown).
Steam LeaderboardsSteam Leaderboards are integrated into the game so not only will you be attempting to beat local high scores but high scores from other players worldwide.
Steam Achievements and Trading CardsThe game has 25 Steam Achievements and 6 trading cards to collect.
What I dislike:
Pig unlocking systemI like the idea that you're able to unlock pigs but there are a couple of problems with the existing system. Firstly, when you get enough coins to unlock a pig (50 coins), you don't actually get a choice of which pig to unlock but instead get one randomly unlocked for you. Secondly, the coins system seems a bit uninspired - couldn't they link the unlocking of pigs to earning particular achievements?
Questionable longevityLike many oldschool games, it's all about the high score and whether you can beat your buddies or not. If you have a young child to play the game with however, it might get quite a few more playthroughs.
Inverted controllersI did come across a minor bug in the game when you're playing with two players: when it came to the pig selection screen, whichever pig you selected on the screen would actually become the pig that the other player would get to control. The workaround is simple enough (i.e. just consult with the other player which pig you're going to pick for them) so thankfully, it's only a minor issue.
Score – 8/10 (Recommended)While some might think it controversial that I recommend a game that on the surface looks like a Flappy Bird clone, hear me out: when looking for family-friendly co-op games that you can play on your Steam Link and is suitable for younger kids (i.e. in terms of gameplay and the usual toning down of sex, drugs, violence, language, etc.), there actually isn't too much out there (believe me, I checked). Consequently, to come across a game that ticks all the right boxes for under a dollar means it's got to be pretty damn good - and Balloon Popping Pigs ticks all those boxes. I did not regret my purchase.
Is the game worth $0.99 USD?: "I'd buy that for a dollar!" Yes! Definitely. If you're looking for a cute, co-op game for young kids that you can play on your Steam Link, this is an absolute steal.
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[ LINK: Official Balloon Popping Pigs Website ]