REVIEW: Pig & Bullet

It’s not often that I’m filled with such disdain for myself that I question the decisions I make as if I’m a second party outside of my body that’s trusted to be objective. Spending a dollar on a game and losing isn’t grounds for reevaluating self-worth. With most dire muck, there’s still a crumb of entertainment to be nibbled. But every once in a while, a title comes along that utterly underwhelms and comes back to haunt my digital wallet almost instantaneously. Pig & Bullet (80 MSP) is that ghost today.

Placed in the hooves of a slaloming pig, the game has you avoiding a literal bullet hell and snatching turnip multipliers to run up the score in each wave. IKA mode requires the opposite, with you collecting bullets on a blue / red rotation, while the third, ‘Masow’ mode, is a sped-up version of collection with random bullet trains (ha! get it!?) roaring past. Yes, it’s the stuff that flash games are made of, translated to XBLIG as a spruced up but simple arcade thrill.

Just make bacon out of this and do us all a favor.

The problem is there’s just not enough content here, and it wears out fast. If your game is going the arcade / score-running route, it helps with longevity to push competition in the form of online scores. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done within the XBLIG framework (understandable), but local leaderboards should be the minimal entry fee. Pig & Bullet only keeps track of your current session. No unlockables, no extras, and very little replayability.

As an iOS game, it may (and I’m stressing ‘may’ in case you couldn’t tell) work as an on-the-go cheap fix. On XBLIG (and as on iOS) though, your dollar can get you so much more. I also question the critical praise used for P & B. Kotaku’s take was favorable, fine, but the Edge Magazine snippet is taken out of context. In terms of fun, I ask simply, where, and at what point? Every one of the game’s four ‘modes’ is only a slight (and mostly visual) variation from the last. The only thing worth a damn here is the soundtrack by Rama Amoeba (Japanese glam rock!) and Yasushi Kaminishi, formerly of Capcom.

For a title that started its life as a free browser game, you’d think the ‘improvements’ added to this release would go far enough to dispel the sense you’re still playing a browser game. They don’t, and your dollar can’t be returned. If you’re the type that must see for yourself (curiosity and all), click the marketplace link above and give Pig & Bullet its eight minutes. That’s all it deserves.

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5 thoughts on “REVIEW: Pig & Bullet”

  1. Does a yeti chase you down towards the end? Honestly, this looks kind of bad ass if you watch it with the volume down and see a pig skiing away from 100000 bullets then eating ecstasy or whatever is going on. Ski-ing skying skeet skeet reet reet? idk it’s really early and I’ve been playing too much Spelunky.

    1. Spelunky can have that effect on your psyche, especially in the wee hours. Very dangerous, too, as you almost considered playing Pig & Bullet. Looking back on the review, maybe I went a little harsher than need be, though I hate games that start life off as being free, then feel they can charge money for an ‘updated’ version that recycles the same idea over a bunch of modes. I’ve played worse, of course, but I… I just don’t like the idea, dammit! 🙂

  2. Urgh. I expected bad but it sounds worse than I feared. I know this is ‘only’ XBLIG but charging real money for a game that would wear out its welcome very quickly if it was free is just insulting.

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