|Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 @ 500 MHz RAM: 128 MB Graphics: 32 MB VRAM|
ďSon, sit with your Uncle here by the fire. These old bones arenít what they used to be. I remember a day, back in the double-aughts, back when jewel matching games battled for supremacy. Oh God, there were so manyÖ so manyÖĒ
Anyhow, the market isnít really that bad. Just the same, Pigllionaire is another timed-click jewel matching game with its own unique style and form. Cutesy, yes. But is it fun?
GameplayYes, itís another crystal matching game. This one has an inexorable march of crystal rows toward your hapless piggybank. You can grab a crystal from the descending columns, and toss it back at the crystal pile and attempt to make a match of three or more crystals, thereby removing it from the board. The action does get quite frenetic as you proceed through the adventure mode, touring the world. Fortunately, thereís a host of power-ups that drop from the heavens, as well as crystals with special effects lurking in the rack above. All the standards are here for crystals in the marching pile- the bombs clearing out an area near the impact, a wild card, clearing out two matching crystals you ordinarily wouldnít be able to clear, a rocket, clearing out an entire column of crystals, and a few others. Not only do power-ups drop, but power-downs drop also. Power-ups like spring break hold the field, lazy clock slows down time, and so forth. Nothing revolutionary here. Power-down drops are a little more unique- a net trap captures your piggybank avatar, an anvil crunches it, a glue trap sticks it to where it stands. The power-downs are really what set the game apart from some of its rivals.
Three gameplay modes are selectable- adventure mode takes the piggy bank on a whirlwind world tour of varying difficulties, puzzle mode is pre-staged puzzles where the goal is to clear every crystal on the board, and millionaire mode is infinite- you clear until the crystals meet you at the bottom of the screen. I didnít personally care for puzzle mode, but the adventure mode has an interesting bonus- as you complete the world maps, you unlock a special powerup that you can select in either adventure or millionaire mode that can be used throughout your game! I wonít ruin the surprise here, but properly utilized, these special powerups are the difference between life and death for your little ceramic buddy!
Graphics and SoundItís a very cute game. If youíre not into the cuteness of piggy banks, and associated metaphors, then stay away. From a unified design standpoint, itís obvious that the developers put a lot of time and effort into making the game look the way it does. Everything from the title screen, to the powerup selection, to the backgrounds of each stage have the same feel to them. As with most games in the genre, Pigllions allows you to play in either full screen mode or windowed mode. Certainly a nice feature.
Sound matches the style of the graphics- itís very playful. Even the dropped power ups or downs are accompanied with a fanfare telling you theyíre dropping. The sound is also skillfully done, but after a point, it annoyed this reviewer, and I either turned it way down, or off. Thatís just personal preference speaking.
Gameplay CriticismsAgain, the game is polished and put together very well. I did find that when my little piggybank was trapped or stuck by a power-down drop, I wanted to revert to a console standard and wiggle the mouse back and forth to release the pig from the trap. This does nothing, but to be honest, Iím not sure it should.
Lastly, Iíd like more mouse sensitivity. Thereís no option to tailor this in the game.
The full version of the application has a strange display bug in one location- when youíve selected the starting stage, and are about to proceed to the secret unlocked power-up selection window, thereís a momentary hang, and then when it recovers, only half of the sub-window to select the power up displays. This behavior does not manifest in the demo, but only the full version. Also, the game doesnít seem to show any ill-effects from this, and runs fine thereafter. Otherwise, the game is free of any show-stopping bugs, and runs very well on a variety of platforms!
The Final VerdictPigllions is a casual crystal clearing game. Like all the others, there are gimmicks, but in this case, theyíre well done. The gameplay is smooth and endearing for most players. If you need blood and explosions in videogames for them to be fun, this is NOT the game for you. If a cartoony main character integrated with well thought out design elements endears you to a game, then do play Pigllionaire.