Review – Hed the Pig

January sucks. There are no new movies to watch, no new albums to listen to, and the first half of the month is practically devoid of interesting new releases in the gaming industry. This is the time when you’re either trying to finish the big games released at the end of the previous year, such as Immortals Fenyx Rising or Cyberpunk 2077, or the time you end up being forced to look at the most pitiful of shovelware titles to keep your head busy until a decent game eventually comes out. This is probably the only reason why I decided to give Hed the Pig a shot, and boy, do I regret doing so.

Hed the Pig

I think that a completely blank screen is prettier than whatever the hell this is supposed to be.

Coming from the same publisher that blessed us with the release of last year’s Wanking Simulator, Hed the Pig is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to production values, gameplay, graphics, sound, and as expected, fun. In this game, you control a pig, and your objective is to guide said delicious bacon-to-be down a tunnel-shaped nightmare, avoiding obstacles until the game tells you to stop. There is no rhyme or reason as to what’s going on: just literally endure each level for a few minutes, then proceed to the next.

This gameplay is shallow as a puddle, but Hed the Pig still manages to screw things up with its terrible graphics and camera angle. The poor draw distance, coupled with the fact that there’s always a big fat pixelated PNG of a pig in the center of the screen, means that you’ll never going to have enough time to properly detect and avoid the big walls coming your way. Your pig doesn’t “fly” very quickly either, making things even more annoying. You can endure a few hits, and there are a few powerups scattered throughout the levels, such as a temporary shield and a small health boost, but they don’t make the game more enjoyable. Not even a little bit.

Hed the Pig

You can collect a few shields and health powerups, but that means you’ll play Hed the Pig for longer than you should.

Most levels are downright ugly to look at, but later stages are set in more “psychedelic” nightmares. I’m still shocked someone greenlit such an eyesore in a commercially available product. These levels actually hurt my eyes in a way not even the 3DS’s terrible fake 3D effects managed to achieve. Not even watching that one Porygon episode of the Pok√©mon anime on YouTube was as bad, and that’s no exaggeration. There’s also sound in Hed the Pig, but I’d be lying if told you I managed to pay attention at any of the music, or better yet, noise, included in here.

Another thing that shocked me was how bad this game’s loading times are. I doubt Hed the Pig is comprised of hardware-demanding code and assets, and yet the game took so long to load from a level back to the main menu that I actually thought the game had somehow managed to brick my Switch. It would have been the perfect stinky cherry on top of the garbage cake.

What puzzles me the most is, why was this released on the Switch? Had this been released on the PS4 or Xbox One, one could have argued that people would buy it in masses because games like this come with stupidly easy achievement requirements. This is why Road Bustle became way more famous and successful than it should have been: a one dollar game that can easily give you a platinum trophy. But the Switch doesn’t have achievements. There is no reason for someone to grab this game, even during the periods when publishers decide to give it a 90% discount. For a few dollars a month, you have access to a SNES and NES library that offer way more bang for your buck, for instance.

This level was an eyesore. Literally.

As expected, Hed the Pig is terrible, absolutely abysmal, with terrible visuals, controls, and one of the most boring gameplay loops in recent memory. It’s the game that makes me wonder how easy it must be to get one of these Switch devkits. Why was this conceived, and most importantly, approved for commercial release, will remain as one of the biggest mysteries of the universe. As for now, avoid this bad boy like the plague. Go use your spare eShop cash on a few months’ worth of access to the SNES and NES libraries instead.

 

Graphics: 1.0

Not only is the game poorly conceived when it comes to its (nonexistent) art direction, but some of its levels literally hurt my eyes. But hey, it runs at 60fps, so there’s a plus…

Gameplay: 2.0

Guide a pig-shaped PNG down a tunnel, avoiding obstacles along your way. The game’s camera angle and poor draw distance add an extra layer of unfair difficulty to make an annoying experience even more frustrating.

Sound: 2.5

Pure background noise. I couldn’t tell you what the hell was being played after shutting the game off.

Fun Factor: 1.5

After playing (or better yet, enduring) the game for as long as I did, I keep wondering why was this created, and who is this for. It’s not fun at all, it’s incredibly poorly conceived, and given the fact that it’s a Switch title, it doesn’t even have trophies or achievements to give completionists a debatable reason for it to exist.

Final Verdict: 1.5

Hed the Pig is available now on Switch.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Hed the Pig was provided by the publisher.