Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t help but imagine the designers of this game looked at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Battletoads and went “uuunnnggghhh…I want that!” Then they started eating donuts and crying.
Their attempt to emulate the success of these other two properties is laughably sad. First, no one really cares for pigs as protagonists. They’re “cute,” sure, but never really heroic. Try and name some protagonist pigs: Porky from Looney Tunes, Orson from Garfield and Friends, …Miss Piggy?
See what I mean?
I’m sure you’ll have other names in mind, but characters that are pork-based are never really all that great. They’re either pushovers (Porky, Sheldon) or jealous emasculating control freaks (ok, just Miss Piggy). They often have a weakness for food—in Power Piggs you run around collect donuts, gee whiz!—and they’re universally disrespected. Also, most kids didn’t really think pigs were that cool in the mid 90s, unless I was grossly mistaken about cultural trends at the time. You know, the thinking pigs were cool cultural trend. In the 90s.
So yeah, the game starts out with some sad protagonists that are desperately trying to be more appealing than they’re reasonably capable of being. I think a wolf has taken over their medieval kingdom—and to be honest, this is probably a good thing. Get an apex predator up in the seat of power and it can focus on the day to day administration of the land without worrying about being eaten by another peasant. How can you safely make fiscal policy decisions when you’re that delicious? Answer: you can’t. It’s why gingerbread people aren’t allowed to run for office in the real world, and it’s why this game has a ridiculous premise.
I was initially excited by the level design since it seemed like there was a lot going on. Sadly, my excitement didn’t last as I found the sloppy, loose controls combined with fairly small landing platforms for jumps and a strangely high number of “air vents” that blow your character uncontrollably upwards rather difficult to navigate. Add to that enemies who take multiple hits with your sword to put down…well, it becomes sort of frustrating. The game wasn’t hard per se, it was just irritating. There were many cases where a short lapse of judgment or a 5 second nap would send me hurtling back down to ground level, somewhat annoyed I now had to turn off the game and do something else.
Power Piggs of the Dark Age comes so close to being a decent game, but it just falls short and this draws such unfavorable comparisons to better games with anthropomorphic protagonists. It’s kind of like an awkward 12 year-old girl who put on her own make-up standing next to Christina Hendricks. Some people might be more interested in the 12 year-old, but those people should be in jail.
All this said I love bacon and this game reminded me a little of that, so FIVE STARS!!!