Initially released in 1987 and famed for its controversial ad campaign, arcade title Psycho Pigs now makes a return to 3DS in this remake by Bergsala Lightweight.
The premise of the game is to beat up other pigs using bombs, without getting injured yourself. Unlike, say, Bomberman, you are free to roam around the arena and lurk in the bushes before surprising your enemy. After being eased in with a tutorial you control your pig and are free to bacon-ize the competition.
You begin by fighting one pig, and then gradually the number goes up to four. As well as the bushes there are tree stumps, boulders and fences to hide in and also obstruct. Although it might be easy to just go flinging bombs about randomly, there is an element of tact and strategy to Psycho Pigs. To make sure your opponents are hit properly you have to strike at just the right time without being hit yourself.
As well as using bombs you are able to defend by crouching down using B, while A allows you to slap enemies if you aren't holding a bomb. There is also help in the form of power ups, such as a cute dragon onesie that allows you immunity to one hit from a bomb blast, gas masks, extra lives and so on. It can all get a bit frantic, and you really have to keep your eye on whats happening to avoid chaos!
There are different game modes on offer - Tournament, Versus and Endless. Tournament allows you to choose your difficulty level and go through the rounds as they get harder, Versus mode allows you to play locally against up to three others, and Endless allows you to play until you get the high score.
The graphics are good, and as expected are much better than the original; they're mostly effective and clear, which is all you need for a game such as Psycho Pigs. There is no use of the 3D feature, and the touch screen is used for the menu and to skip scenes, so all told the 3DS hardware is used minimally. The music is catchy and fun, with the sound effects from the pigs themselves being pretty funny; there is actually the option to choose your pig's voice under 'Dress Up' in the menu, and here you also have the option to wear items you've acquired during battle.
In the menu, you can also view your ranking, change the controls and listen to the soundtrack (if you like it that much!). Psycho Pigs lacks online multiplayer, though, just allowing you to rank your score online and beat the high scores of others. Despite this there is quite a bit of gameplay to be had without going online, with more levels at higher difficulties.
Psycho Pigs remains an arcade game despite its makeover, and is best played in short and frantic bursts. It is a good example of a simple and fast-paced game to play without too much commitment; this is certainly a reasonable option for quickfire fun.