In When Pigs Fly you control a flying pig.
from 19 ratings
Date of Release:
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The game begins as a cute little cartoon piggy, our protagonist, falls into an underground cave complex and, in an attempt at escaping, grows a pair of wings through sheer force of will. Unfortunately, the wingspan is too wide to fit through the hole he fell through, and the wings are more fragile than a glass pinata, meaning that you have to fly through the whole series of caverns to find a way out.
“Fly” is the operative word here. Either because the pig is so enthralled with his newfound abilities or just because he’s lazy, he lacks the ability to walk. All movement within the game is in the air. This is at once incredibly frustrating, challenging, and oddly intuitive. The title is “When Pigs Fly”, not “When Pigs Fly and Occasionally Walk Around”, so it’s good to see that gamers will get exactly what it says on the tin.
The controls are intuitive; the space bar flies, hold it to go up and tap to hover, and the arrow keys move. Enough said on that front. The controls are responsive and relatively quick, but maneuvering the pig around is still a bit of a challenge. That’s a good thing, because it’s what the entire game is built around.
The caverns are designed to be intensely difficult. A single brush of a wing against a wall is enough to break it, sending your piggy crashing to the earth, and often times the walls are so close together that there’s no margin of error. Razor sharp stalagmites and lava are everywhere, and as I played, I quickly came to the realization that pigs are not built to go on these sort of adventures, with or without wings. The one saving grace you have is your own persistence; there is no life limit, meaning that you’re free to retry over and over again as many times as you wish.
Given the difficulty of getting the pig through the underground caverns of wing-shattering death, it’s often tempting to throw the keyboard against the nearest flat surface and quit, but if there’s one thing that gamers are, it’s masochistic. And so, I trudged on through the game, and a hair over 14 minutes later emerged victorious with an abysmal final tally of 156 deaths.
Then I immediately began playing again.
The glorious, aching difficulty of the game is what keeps me coming back for more. After the first playthrough, you can try again for fastest time, fewest accidents, or if you’re in a particularly insane mood you can play through backwards. There’s something compelling about it, in the same way that made me pump endless quarters into the “Captain America and the Avengers” machine back at the old Pizza Hut when I was in first grade. The chipper, pixelly graphics probably help with that, although the soundtrack is merely adequate. To be frank, I suggest turning the speakers off when you play.
All in all, “When Pigs Fly” is a worthy way to spend a lunchbreak or five, and as it’s a flash title, there’s nothing to download. Give it a shot – but make sure you tape your keyboard down first, and leave any breakables outside of the room.