Have You Played… Hogs of War?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

A long time ago, deep in the cyberyear 2000, came a turn-based multiplayer war game called Hogs of War [Steam page]. It was essentially Worms in 3D, with pigs. But whereas Worms spawned an undying horde of sequels, to the extent that the franchise is now a bonafide industry joke that nobody knows how to address, Hogs of War never saw a sequel. Perhaps it’s just as well, fond as it was of puerile humour and cheap national stereotypes.

That didn’t bother me at the time, of course. I just liked bayoneting British pigs into nearby lakes and watching them drown until they exploded, for that is the kind of youth I was, and this was the kind of bacon logic it offered. I also enjoyed sniping hogs from long distance, and getting the high ground from where you could launch cluster bombs on groups of cowering enemies.

It didn’t catch on, which feels odd to me now, looking at Team 17’s dominance of the turn-based artillery genre for two full decades. But I like to think, in some parallel world, there are 26 identical Hogs of War games and only a single long-forgotten Worms.

18 Comments

  1. GenialityOfEvil says:

    Also, Rick Mayall voiced the pigs.

  2. Eraysor says:

    This is the first time I have seen this game mentioned since I played it on the PS1 in about 2001.

    RIP Infogrames!

  3. Da5e says:

    Mardy pigs! An ex of mine refused to speak to me for a whole weekend once because I wiped out her whole team with madness gas – they all ran into some landmines. Great days.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Jarmo says:

    I feel it necessary to point out that the pictured pig is doing it very wrong. When you carry an ammo belt on your shoulder, point the bullets away from your neck. Otherwise you’ll impale yourself the next time you need to get down in a hurry. And in an environment where it’s necessary to carry ammo belts that way, it’s more than likely that the next dirt dive will happen sooner than later.

    • maninahat says:

      I also feel its worth pointing out that he has “born to grill” written on his helmet, implying that he’s some kind of pig cannibal.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      Besides, his spectacles are non-standard issue military uhhh official… standard. In a real combat scenario, his hoggy eyes would see absolutely nothing.

  5. Oasx says:

    I would love to read an article about Team 17 sometime, how a beloved game studio for the Amiga known for a lot of great games, managed to come up with their biggest hit and have been remaking that same game for the last 20 years.

    • poliovaccine says:

      It would probably be a tale of many failed upstarts in other directions, and falling back on their reliable old IP. Team 17 have made a few different things over the years, but they never take off. I happen to really like Sheltered, as well as The Escapists, but neither title exactly propelled these guys to new strata of celebrity and wealth. To me it seems exactly like the way John Fahey was a brilliant musician in the most classical sense but couldnt find a broad enough niche for his compositions, and so when he made more bucks than ever before with a stray Christmas album he wound up coming to rely on them year after year for his bread and butter. This means that his discography today is half Christmas albums. Not exactly a person for whom Christmas was the be all end all of life or anything, it just happened to pay the bills. I see Team 17 kinda the same way… though I wouldnt exactly call Worms the game equivalent to the music of John Fahey haha. They are, uh, different in tone.

  6. Sui42 says:

    RIP Rick Mayall. Even if the voices were a tad… uh… racist.

    I love this game though. Have it installed on my PSP and I went through a phase where I’d just play it constantly on trains etc. The whole promotion mechanic is actually pretty well done for a PS1-era game.

  7. int says:

    When Rik Mayall died I checked it out again.

  8. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Believe it or not. I still have it on me pc. Unfortunately its torrented version, because some dude made possible for to run well on XP and x64 vista and win7.

    I’ll posted pictures if anyone wants proof. Its just a game tho.

    EDIT: Just to be clear, I have it for more then 9 years. I’ve only recently saw it on steam.

  9. mpk says:

    Play it? Hogs of the War is the reason for my internet handle, which I will only explain if you get me very drunk.

  10. Rizlar says:

    Delightful game, it captured the same silly hilarity of Worms while being different enough to work in 3D.

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    Neurotic says:

    I loved it back in the day, and always resented PCG’s poor review of it. Was it Al Bickham? I forget. I think it pre-dated Al, but I can’t find my old Reviews Databse file.

  12. pretty fiendish says:

    Me and 3 friends played this game to death over a summer many years ago. Every now and again one of us will remember Hogs of War and it will bring back so many happy memories. Back when I thought nothing of hanging out in a friend’s bedroom from Friday evening to Sunday evening, drinking and playing the same game over and over and over. Good times indeed!

  13. shorty says:

    Wow that is a blast form the past! I worked on that game designing levels. Feeling old now.

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