Developer: Angry Avocado Apps
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

pig 1Plasma Pig initially entices with a great, central idea. However, it doesn’t quite take that idea as far as it should go. It’s a great game, but the slightly wasted potential can’t help but sting. Still, landing among the stars is a good consolation prize for shooting for the moon.

When Pigsley, a simple Earth pig, is transported to the planet Lardo, he soon becomes the target of the bacon-hungry alien overlord, Than. Now, only the player’s finger can lead him home. In Plasma Pig, players draw ramps and platforms to guide the circular Pigsley to the level’s exit. The mechanic will be instantly familiar to anyone who played Kirby’s Canvas Curse on the Nintendo DS in 2005. That game set a new, high standard for what touch-based games could be and its hook is no less magnificent here than it was years ago. Players can also tilt Pigsley to help nudge him in the right direction, adding more finesse to the gameplay. While early levels are disappointingly sparse, with too many empty spaces, later worlds eventually introduce bounce pads and other tricks that give the game a satisfying amount of complexity. 

Still, throughout its 100 or so levels, Plasma Pig only does the most basic things with level design. Often, the most immediately obvious path to draw to get all three stars will be the one that works. The limited amount of ink or “plasma” occasionally forces players to be more thoughtful and efficient with their scribbling but the levels themselves should provide that challenge, too. It’s not like the game is some platforming adventure where new ramps must constantly be drawn on the fly. Each stage is just a self-contained, overly straightforward puzzle.

At least they are good looking puzzles, though. While it may appear overly simple at first, Plasma Pig’s various worlds, including desert, jungle, and ice environments, impress with subtle depth and textures with a kid’s book, construction paper quality. Pigsley himself may not be too interesting but his surroundings are. The music also does a great job at putting players in the “space adventure” state of mind.

Plasma Pig may not make the most out of its killer hook, but it certainly doesn’t squander it either. It’s a fun, creative game that just doesn’t completely leave orbit. 

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