Piggy Woogy is a jewel match-3 puzzler with a wall-scaling wolfish twist. The game is set up like any traditional match 3, but instead of a time limit based on the clock or overflowing potential matches, the player is in a race against the formidable but innocuously named woogies.
Woogies, as it turns out, are wolves. This goes along with the game’s fairytale premise, which sets the big bad wolves against their age-old nemeses, the pigs. Instead of three little pigs, however, we find ourselves defending two, a romantically entwined couple of porkers by the names of Piggy and Pinny. They live in a tower, and that tower is under attack. To dislodge the wolves, which climb the tower like SWAT commandoes, the player must match jewels which disrupt the Woogies footholds. Each level sets a goal of how many wolves must be “caught” (made to fall by making matches), and that number climbs quickly as the player progresses. There are a limited number of wolves that can get through the defenses before the level is considered a failure; this is tracked by the number of red hearts at the top of the screen.
To make matches, which consist of like jewels in horizontal or vertical rows of three, the player swipes across one pair of jewels to transpose them. But jewel matching takes a backseat to wolf battling quickly; approaching Piggy Woogy like a run of the mill matching game is asking for Piggies on a platter.
While the game’s overwhelmingly obvious feature is jewel matching, it only takes a few minutes to learn that countering the Woogy attacks is going to be much more complex than that. This game is surprisingly difficult—first just challenging to excel at, then challenging to progress at all. There are a wide variety of wolf types with all sorts of additional skills and abilities, and the Piggy arsenal is not exactly fully loaded.
At the top of the screen are a few special attacks with (lengthy) cool down times. There’s refresh, which basically knocks every Woogy off the board because it gives you a whole new jeweled playing field. There’s ice, which slows Woogies down (arguably the most helpful of the three once you incorporate it into a useful strategy) and there’s also oil, which causes Woogies to slide to the bottom of the screen. The problem with these attacks is that they just slow down the heart-eating capabilities of the Woogie onslaught; they don’t fulfill the requirement to “capture” Woogies. This is definitely a game that presents a considerable challenge, and that’s refreshing.
Piggy Woogy is chock full of charm, with a delightful intro, and adorable protagonists. (Nice to see piggies on the side of good, after the bad rap their green cousins have gotten them in another game…) It’s inventive, cute to watch, with a decent soundtrack, too. The animation is clever, and the palette is bright and cheerful.
Piggy Woogy is available now for download in the iTunes App Store, for $1.99. Be ready, because it packs a punch!