The wolves are at it again! When last we saw this vicious bunch they were trying to turn a father and his poor kids into the roast of the valley. Now it’s all out war, and the pigs aren’t going to take this invasion lying down. Pig Vs. Wolves is a real time strategy game of sorts, and I’ll admit I’m not a real big fan of the particular style of play that’s employed. However, the different types of pigs are amusing, the visuals are charming, and the game moves at a fast enough pace that I actually don’t mind the format.
You control the pig team, and you’re goal is to try and keep those nasty wolves at bay. The playing field is divided into 4 rows, each row containing 7 squares. You can place a unit on any square that is open. If you decide you don’t want a particular unit on a square, erase it and place something else there (you don’t get any money back, however). Once you fend off a certain number of wolves you’ll move on to the next level. At the beginning of each level you get to pick which units you wish to take with you on the level. You get 15 to choose from, but you only have a certain number of slots that you can fill, and you can’t put the same unit in two different slots. You must choose wisely, but chances are you’ll need to play some levels through a few times before you know which combination works best.
I like the variety of units. The most fundamental unit is the piggy bank. Without any of these you’ll never be able to build enough troops to fight your battles. As for troops you have your basic pig with a sling shot, but eventually you’ll get more worthwhile shooters. In addition to the offensive units you have defensive units like the Eskimo that throws ice at the enemies to slow them down or the photographer that flashes the bad guys to temporarily stun them. There are even pig-made units like the bomb that will take care of all the units around it when it goes off, and the scare-pig, that acts as a defense the wolves have to get through before they can proceed. Each unit has an offense and defense rating, so plan accordingly when placing them on the battlefield.
There are also plenty of villains to go around. You start out with the basic brown wolf that can easily be dispatched with one or two shots as you get better shooters. Then you have the blue wolf which is somewhat tougher, and the granny wolf that requires you to get through the disguise before you can actually take out the wolf. Other wolves include a kamikaze wolf and a wolf with a torch that likes to burn down defenses. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as new wolves get introduced for quite a few levels in classic mode (which you might also call campaign mode). There’s also a survival mode, which I think is just playing for as long as you can with as many units as you’ve unlocked in classic mode. I personally prefer the finite levels to classic mode, but I’m sure there are others that will enjoy the “how long can you last?” option.
The graphics have the same cartoon charm as imPig. The characters are nicely detailed and the animation isn’t too bad. Everything is bright and colorful, and the cutscenes look like comic book panels. It would be nice to see more of them, though. The sound effects are okay, but the game needs more of them, especially when it comes to the wolves and pigs. It would be nice to hear them react when they are getting hit or when they’ve made a kill. It doesn’t have to be every time, but the occasional noise would be cool. The music is good, but the various selections are all wildly different, and I know I’ve heard at least one or two of them in other games.
Overall I’ve quite enjoyed this game. Again it’s not my favorite style of strategy game, but it certainly makes up for that shortcoming with a variety of units and a great atmosphere. I’m really starting to get into this “pigs vs. wolves” universe, and I hope we see more games that tell the tales of these warring clans.