Pig Eat Ball (Switch) Review
This game is stylish, surreal, and disturbing, and the sprite based graphics instantly stand out.
The overworlds in the single player campaign are filled with things to do and are fun to explore.
Though the game mechanics are well used, their limits begin to show in longer play sessions.
The multiplayer mode isn’t nearly as interesting as the single player campaign.
Pig Eat Ball is, for better or worse, the first vomiting pig game that I’ve ever played. It has a very distinct style, is cartoonishly grotesque without being disgusting, and certainly has a sense of humor. The usually inventive arcade gameplay’s creativity sometimes falters, leaving the fleeting impression that the poor pig will be stuck eating dots for an eternity’s worth of levels, but there’s more than enough going on in this game to make it memorable.
I truly respect Pig Eat Ball’s dedication to being a surreal screaming nightmare. The sprite based graphics are interesting without being particularly attractive. The garish colors, off-putting sprites, and copious amounts of lime green cartoon vomit all come together to give this game a unified, unique and memorable look that somehow never overwhelms the gameplay. The sound is also off-putting, but in an interesting way. The chiptune on a half-melted cassette sound of the level end victory jingle is upsettingly memorable, and the rest of the music and sound effects add to the game’s overall style. The look and sound of Pig Eat Ball are the best things about it
The game attached to all of this isn’t bad, but it isn’t where Pig Eat Ball shines. In this game, you play as Princess Bow, a pig on a quest to avoid marriage and save her space station. Her abilities include eating things and breaking things, and she also throws up a lot. This translates into some fairly basic dot eating and jar smashing arcade style gameplay. The single player mode drags on a bit, but has some funny levels and clever puzzles, alongside puzzle filled overworlds that are interesting to explore.
It’s clear that the multiplayer is also meant to be a draw here. Unfortunately, it’s not nearly as strong as the single player. The game throws some level styles from the single player campaign at you and three other players, and after a few of those, a winner is crowned. However, the multiplayer levels lack the creativity of the single player ones, and without the single player campaign’s instruction and training, some of the play styles are less intuitive than others. They aren’t awful, and the fact that this is a game about a barfing pig has enough novelty that multiplayer holds up for a few plays. It lacks the depth necessary to make it a party game most will stick with for long, though.
If Pig Eat Ball had a more varied single player campaign or a multiplayer mode that better understood what made the single player mode fun, it would be easy to recommend. It’s a unique game with a confident style, and in short bursts, it’s fun and addictive. Playing it for longer sessions shows off the shortcomings of its limited, but often creatively used mechanics, though, and the multiplayer mode is too simple for such a bizarre and inventive game. Pig Eat Ball is often worth playing for its charmingly horrifying take on retro arcade games in and of itself, but its gameplay is not quite as interesting as its personality.