Com2uS is making some pretty solid games these days. I had nothing less than a blast with their FarmVille clone Tiny Farm, and we took a real shine to Inotia 3: Children of Carnia as well. In other words, I trust them to deliver a solid gaming experience, so I really looked forward to sitting down with the cute looking, colorful puzzler Piggy Adventure [99¢/HD].
I don't personally mind whether puzzlers provide me with a backstory or not as I'm old school and liked games the best when all that stood between me and actual playtime was a title screen, but Piggy Adventure does give you a little detail to fill in the gaps before you begin. You are a pig (surprise) named Steezy who shares a cool job with your friends Haden the chick and Moochew the cow -- painting pictures every day to fill the world with beauty. Sure beats getting milked and turning into ham, I suppose. But when an unnamed evil force sweeps all the color out of your universe, you have to go on a puzzle solving quest to collect paint to get things back in proper shape.
To do so, you'll play your way through 40 levels (or islands), solving a small puzzle to get through each one. You can choose to use a small, non-obtrusive control pad at the bottom to move your characters and make them jump, or you can choose gravity sensitive mode, which means you'll tilt the phone to move your guys and tap them to jump. I thought it was really cool that these options were both featured and could be swapped in and out of at any time, even within a level. I personally found the gravity sensitive mode a bit awkward in comparison to the regular controls, but I'm sure some players will prefer it.
Piggy Adventure is simple, but there's something really pleasing about the way solving a level works. For each puzzle, you'll see the pig, cow and chick on screen, and you'll see a button on the bottom right that allows you to switch between them at anytime. You'll need to use them all to solve each island, and you'll get better scores depending on if you collect all the paint drops in each level and how your animals cross the finish line.
Another cool feature available is the ability to record levels in real time as you play the game. Since there are multiple ways to solve each level, you have a way of keeping track of them. This is especially handy as you get into the later islands where puzzles become much more challenging. Of course, you also have leaderboards at your disposal via Gamecenter and 44 achievements to knock out, so suffice to say this one could keep you busy for a while. Another nice touch is in the form of a question mark at the top of your screen during play, which you can tap to see your next move outlined on the screen. In other words, you can figure it out if you want, but if you simply can't get it, you can peek to figure it out, erasing that roadblock that can make many a player quit playing a game out of frustration.
Everything about Piggy Adventure just reeks of quality. It's well-illustrated, has a cute sense of humor, is a ton of fun to play, and provides a really smooth and enjoyable experience. Puzzle fans ought to get a lot out of this one. I could pick a bone with the fact that this "colorless" world they are in actually has vividly colored levels and is quite beautiful, but you know, why take the wind out of their sails?