Ninja Pig Studios, known for its infamous release Meme Run and some of its accompanying controversy, is back with another title for the Wii U eShop. Bigley's Revenge is - dare we say it - slightly more competent and tempered than its headache-inducing predecessor, but that's not saying a great deal. While this game - also meme-themed, as you may have guessed - is a little more playable, it's still not enough to warrant a purchase, unless for some inexplicable reason you seek a sure-fire way of giving yourself the most painful migraine imaginable.
Bigley's Revenge is a first-person shooter that takes place on a single platform. Its sole mode has the player shooting enemies - all based on "hilarious" internet memes - as they approach. One hit kills the player, and the objective is simply to survive for as long as possible and achieve the best high score. The player is rewarded with money that is spent on reloading ammo, and there are different guns available via a pillar in the center of the small island. Killing certain foes results in a psychedelic slowdown that theoretically allows you to shoot more enemies, but its impact is minimal overall.
Unfortunately, Bigley's Revenge seems stuck a decade in the past; the sluggish turning and reloading bring to mind early Wii first-person shooters that couldn't nail the controls. Still, at least those games had professional-grade production values - the same sadly cannot be said of Ninja Pig's effort. Enemies explode in bursts of colour, with crazy sound effects and clip art. The sound effects become jarring incredibly quickly thanks to the awkward combination of blood-curdling screams and other random sounds, from obnoxious music to bizarre, disembodied voices. The intention is clearly to create something which is chaotic in aesthetic and aural terms, but that predictably makes for a game that is hard to play for anything longer than 30 seconds without wanting to rip out your eyes and chop off your ears.
The enemies are largely 2D cutouts that, when juxtaposed with the muddy 3D textures of the level, make for a mildly amusing design - like Meme Run before it, it's obvious that humour is the driving force behind this title. Sadly, like the same joke being told repeatedly, the appeal wears off in seconds rather than hours. It doesn't help that practically everything about Bigley's Revenge is amateurish - there are no options to be found and the game uses a very rudimentary HUD. The minimum of effort has been expended in creating this one-joke game, and it shows.
We criticised Meme Run for being cynical and smug in its blatant overuse of internet memes and uncomfortable, sensory-attacking gameplay, but with the giddy ridiculousness of Bigley's Revenge you start to get the sense that Ninja Pig Studios is truly enthusiastic about its work. While the game is still a disaster and hard to tolerate for anything longer than a few minutes, one can't help but admire the studio for trying. However, Ninja Pig's undying love of the absurd fails to translate into anything approaching a worthy video game, and Bigley's Revenge is best avoided.