Pig Up!

Game review by
Chris Morris, Common Sense Media
Pig Up! Game Poster Image
High-flying Facebook fun from the minds behind Bejeweled.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The titular pig constantly has a smile on his face, overjoyed with the sensation of flight. And he never lets obstacles defeat his attitude. 

Positive Role Models & Representations
Ease of Play

Everything in the game comes down to clicking your mouse (or hitting your space bar). The trick is learning when to glide and when to soar. The further you get in the game, the more prevalent obstacles will become, but it's never frustrating. 

Violence

Bees will sting the flying pig/hero, shortening his flight. Through the "Hog Wild" power-up, the pig can sometimes squash the bees. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Power-ups cost "pig pence," which can be earned in the game. If you haven't earned a sufficient number, you can buy them using real world dollars. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pig Up! is a scrolling arcade title from the addictive developers at PopCap Games, makers of Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies. This means many players will find themselves playing it for long, long periods, ignoring other responsibilities. The violence is minimal (bee stings are the worst you'll encounter) and the game is actually quite cheerful. Your scores are compared to those of your friends on the title screen, so users who want complete privacy on Facebook might want to steer clear. The game also is technically in a preview/beta phase, meaning elements could change as PopCap evolves it. 

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What's it about?

Distance is the name of the game in PIG UP! As a pig who's shot out of a cannon, you'll try to go as far as possible -- and earn as many points as possible -- by collecting \"flapples\" (green apples that help you to fly higher) and avoiding bees, whose sting lowers your flapple count. When you hit zero, gravity takes over and you begin to fall. It's a simple concept, but one that is utterly addictive.

Is it any good?

Though it's a Facebook exclusive, Pig Up! is a game that could easily be played on any platform. And that, in itself, is an incredible achievement. But the game's real strength is its utterly addictive nature. It's the video game equivalent of a potato chip: Playing just once is nearly impossible. Fighting to top your friend's scores adds a fun, safe competitive edge to the game. It also motivates you to improve, since a special flapple is deployed -- giving you thousands of points and three extra flaps -- whenever you pass the most recent high score set by your friends.

The game is still in preview/beta mode and PopCap will likely be adding new power-ups and perhaps new enemies, but even in its incomplete state it's one of the best games on the social network site. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about which power-ups are their favorite as well as the "never say die" spirit of the protagonist pig. 

  • Families can also discuss online safety. What do you do if you think you've encountered an online bully or predator?

Game details

  • Platforms: Facebook
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: PopCap Games
  • Release date: July 19, 2011
  • Genre: Arcade
  • ESRB rating: NR

For kids who love puzzles

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