Pigs In Trees in Review – Pigs Live In Trees?

The epic war between pork and poultry has finally wormed its way into the line drawing genre of games thanks to the fine folks over at Pan Vision AB / Tactile Entertainment.  I never knew that pigs lived in trees, but apparently they do and the woodpeckers don’t like it.  The premise is quirky, but the visuals are fun and the game itself is quite challenging.  The different types of birds also bring some interesting elements into play.  If you thought you were done with the whole pig / bird conflict, here’s a good enough reason to join the fight once again.

Your mission is to protect the tree house from 45 waves of woodpeckers with attitudes.  To attack a woodpecker you drag your finger to draw a line between the plane and the offending fowl.  If other birds cross your path before you get to your target you’ll take them down as well, earning bonus combo points.  This seems to be a bit touchy, though, as there are times when I fly right past birds without shooting them.  It would also be nice if the pig shot at birds that fly right next to it when you haven’t selected a target, but that’s a minor quibble.

There are different kinds of woodpecker to contend with.  Some attack from the front, others from the side, and one even drops bombs for you to run into.  You’ll often need to devise a strategy to take them all out efficiently without getting hurt yourself.  Occasionally your housemates will toss out a power up for you.  You can keep as many power ups as you have slots at the bottom of the screen, which varies by level.  Once a power up is in a slot, just tap it again to use it.  I really like this, because too often the “use them when you get them” philosophy of power ups means you waste a lot of good tools.

Your tree has four limbs, and when the woodpeckers have successfully trimmed all four of them you lose the level.  You also lose the level if you get hit 3 times without repairing your plane.  Thankfully you can always continue at the last level you played.  You get points for each bird taken down (along with any combo bonuses), and you also get points for each unused power-up, though their worth varies depending on what they actually do.  To move on to the next level you simply need to survive with your tree in tact, but to earn medals (there are 3 per level) you need to score big.  You can always go back and replay levels that you didn’t get three medals on, and there are also a number of Game Center achievements to earn, so there is definitely some replay value to the game.

Both the pigs and the woodpeckers look awesome.  I especially love the style used in the intro and the short cut scenes.  There isn’t much to the background save the tree itself and a few flowers, but the pig in his plane and the various woodpeckers are all nicely drawn and well animated.  When you get enough birds the visuals can get a bit crowded, however.  The sound effects are decent enough between the grunting of the pig and the noises of the different birds.  There’s an announcer that voices things like “good job” and “final wave” as well.  The music is good, but it actually seems a bit tame given all the crazy action going on.  It serves its place well in the background, though.

With the incredible popularity of Angry Birds, way too many folks have decided to try to cash in and tell the “other side” of the story.  Thankfully, a developer has finally done it right.  Not only that, but the game actually manages to breathe some new life into the somewhat stagnant line drawing genre.  Pigs In Trees is one battle worth getting engaged in.

Grab Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Pigs In Trees Developer: PAN Vision AB
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.2 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 17.9 MB
  • Fun, hectic game play
  • Nice variety of enemies
  • Cool graphics
  • Combos somewhat finicky


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