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Projectile vomit for fun and profit in Pig Eat Ball, out now with demo

Unless something can top a flying pig vomiting tennis balls at a tiger-moth (literally a tiger/moth hybrid) with tennis racquets for wings, then Pig Eat Ball is the wildest game you’ll see today. The latest from Nathan Fouts of Mommy’s Best Games (Serious Sam Double D, Weapon Of Choice) Pig Eat Ball is a deliriously weird arcade puzzle-maze game which feels like it’s from a universe where 90s shareware took over the world. It’s also rather good fun. Check out the launch trailer and some hands-on impressions below, plus a free demo.

Thematically, Pig Eat Ball is just pure, intentional nonsense, peppered with RPS-worthy puns and strange sight gags and coated in a layer of lurid green tennis-puke. Mechanically, it’s a tightly designed arcade game which takes a simple control scheme and stretches it to its limits in a massive series of levels, constantly introducing new puzzle-pieces and systems. Magical pig Princess Bow can fly, inhale and regurgitate. To complete most levels, you need to eat all the tennis balls in the stage, although eating too many renders Bow too large to fit through small gaps, so you spew.

It could easily be simple and one-note, but it feels like every other level introduces some odd new twist. Sometimes tennis balls will be inaccessible, so you need to use suction to drag them onto conveyor belts or towards tennis-playing bugs, which will volley the ball elsewhere. Sometimes you’ve got an entirely new goal, like racing a team of beetles to assemble a round of sandwiches for a giant off-screen yeti. Even its core rules get bent from time to time – some levels you have limited health, while others are literally solved by hurling yourself onto spikes to avoid throwing up.

While your mileage may vary on the art (I like the sprites, although I find the saturation of the colours can be exhausting), I will brook no argument on Pig Eat Ball’s soundtrack – it whips. Three parts funky, one part bizarre, it bounces through genres at a rate of knots but most tracks have a catchy enough bass-line or melody to keep toes tapping. Important in an arcade game as long as this, as the game contains hundreds of levels, usually broken up into sets of 3-5 at a time, plus shareable user-made ones. You can try a chunk of it in the free demo on the Steam store page below.

Pig Eat Ball is out now on Steam, Humble and Itch, and costs £10.25/€11.24/$13.49.

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Dominic Tarason

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