Overall Score 72%
Pigs! Pigs everywhere! Prancing about like they've gone mad! I'm sat here with a rifle in my hands. There's nothing else for it. Ready! Aim! Fire!
I'll mention right now that PigRange does not feature anything so gauche as a plot. What possible storyline could you need? You have a gun and an array of targets dance from behind a screen, daring you to pick 'em off before they disappear back behind it again. How good a shot are you? Simply tap the screen of your phone, pod or pad and give those pigs the pork chop. How many can you take out?
There are four game modes available, all similar in style but playing slightly differently. Kamikaze is the simplest of the four - you have unlimited ammunition with which to blast those pigs as they emerge from behind the screen, but if three of them eventually find their way back there, it's game over. Time Range sees you blasting as many pigs as you can within 90 seconds, but you can only fire thirty shots before you need to reload. Make them count! Arcade mode combines the two - a time limit AND a limit of three escapes. Lastly, Extreme mode combines limited ammunition and the three-strike limit, but the time limit is removed. Try not to hit the pigs carrying dynamite, though - they will cost you a heavy score deficit in some game modes and simply end the game in others.
If you aren't interested in pigs, they form just one of three characters to choose between - the others appear to be a hippo and an anteater, but I could be wrong. They all look decidedly odd. I gather that additional characters might be included in future updates. Unfortunately the graphics are more limited in other areas - for instance, there is only one firing range to play. I would like there to be more backgrounds, which may also be possible in future updates.
Sound effects are a mix of squeals and grunts, as well as a few gun sounds and the bang as a pig explodes in what appears to be a shower of popcorn (at this stage, I'm beyond asking why any of these things happen), plus a host of other items. Music consists of Johann Strauss's "Tritsch-Tratsch Polka", which is rather fitting for the game but - oddly - doesn't play during the game itself. It also restarts whenever you switch to a new screen; irritating when navigating menus. Music and sound effects can be individually switched off from the main screen.
This is a very simple game to play, which is good - there are no instructions. That said, it's also quite difficult to play well, at least on the iPhone - I suspect an iPad would be much more forgiving due to the larger size. Those prancing pigs are tricky targets! They like to change direction quite suddenly and move at a fair pace, and when there's half a dozen on the screen at once it's quite tricky to know where to shoot. Still, with practice, you can do rather well, and there are combo bonuses for good shooting. You can also sign in to post your score online.
I've already mentioned two of my niggles so far - the restarting music and the lack of instructions - as well as the general lack of content (which can be easily augmented anyway). I have just one more minor annoyance that I have not yet mentioned - your high score is shared by all four game types. I scored 51 in one mode, which became my top score in every mode (even those I do less well in). Why are there not four scores? The different modes require different strategy.
PigRange is a simple game with plenty of scope to boost content over time. It's a quick blast now and again - not something to spend hours on at a time - and it's entirely family friendly, so you can let the children play it without worrying. Unless you run a pig farm, perhaps, in which case lock up the rifles.
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