Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
As a character, Lion Pig would have fit in perfectly with the myriad of cute animal platformer mascots that came in the wake of a certain speedy hedgehog. Why does a pig have a mane? Who cares? However, its pleasant but ultimately unremarkable platforming would also have been right at home in that same era.
To conquer each of Lion Pig's bite-sized levels, players must collect five scattered coins to open the exit. The compact nature of most stages means it’s mostly a matter of getting to the coins, not hunting for them. However, later levels do take players through less straightforward, more creative paths across the environment in all directions to nab each trinket. Still, many of the 30 initial levels can be beaten in under a minute. In fact, players are encouraged to set new records to unlock the handful of bonus stages, so it’s good stages are enjoyably replayable.
And maybe it’s better Lion Pig doesn’t wear out its welcome because the platforming itself is pretty mixed. Walking left or right is simple enough when on land, as is bouncing off of mushrooms and climbing up trees and walls. Also, the lack of direct jumping doesn’t hurt as much as one might expect. But the relatively numerous water stages are a different story. As players move they also ascend, and they can only sink by staying still. This creates an irritating, unnatural momentum that gets especially frustrating during precarious encounters like navigating a cluster of deadly jellyfish while being pursued by a wall of spikes. As a nice consolation though, players keep the coins they’ve earned after they die. All they lose is precious time.
Control quirks may be Lion Pig’s biggest real issue, but the overall lack of personality is probably the most disappointing. Aside from the undeniably entertaining, and inexplicably well-animated, image of a lion crossed with a pig, the rest of the game’s retro art style, while cheery and colorful, is flat and without detail or charm. The same applies to the basic music.
Lion Pig may not do much to transcend the platformers it emulates, but it’s still an okay enough throwback.