Commuting Cognition: Super Pig Dash

What is this?

I’ve never been a big mobile game player, but I ended up working in a mobile games company (opinions are my own etc), so I’ve been trying to expose myself to more games in this market and attempt to gain an ever-better understanding of them. One of the ways I’ve been doing that is in trying out new games, seeing what they do wrong and right, and try to draw conclusions from them that I can use in the future to make our games better. One of the resources I’ve been using for this is TouchArcade (not sponsored), and their columns listing the new iOS games of the week.

This resulted in me playing a lot more new games during my daily bus rides, but I also feel the need to discuss them somewhere and keep a log of my thoughts instead of just internalising them. So, Commuting Cognition. These will be brief, bus-ride-long thoughts on these games, and should be seen less as reviews and more as first-impression brain dumps. They also may not be daily, depending on how full the bus is that day.

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Super Pig Dash

Super Pig Dash is a sort of endless lane jumper with a pretty unique aesthetic.

You control your pig by swiping left and right to change lanes, and up to jump. Somewhat uniquely and very creatively, the level forms itself as you jump, with many blocks falling down to create platforms of varying height and length. The goal is to climb as high as possible while avoiding fireballs coming at you vertically at first, then horizontally and diagonally. You can also swipe down to jump down one block; i saw no use to that during my matches, but i guess it doesn’t hurt either.

Oddly for the genre, the bottom of the screen isn’t rushing to catch up with you. This means you’re able to just sit and wait for the fireballs to pass by you, which messes up the flow. Even if the screen’s speed was slow it would be enough to nudge you to move quickly and keep the pace somewhat frantic. This would also have helped to shorten the sessions; my very first game felt a bit too long, taking up most of my bus ride, and the mechanic doesn’t feel deep enough to maintain long sessions. The bizarre lack of a pause button also harms long playtimes.

With that said, the difficulty curve feels pretty well crafted, if a bit slow on the slopes. It’s neat how they craft distinct challenges simply by changing the patterns of their single obstacle. You can also die by falling below the screen, but i had to try it on purpose to see if that was the case; it never felt like an actual threat.

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