Bad Piggies

LQ: 9.3


Brain grade: 9
Fun score: 9.5

Game Type: ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , , LWK Recommended Age: 5+ Thinking Skills Used: ,

iTunes / Google Play

Bad Piggies is a unique puzzle game from the makers of the hit game Angry Birds, that has players building contraptions that must carry the “piggies” to their destination.  Each level has a goal to reach, and players are given a set amount of material to use to build their creations. Players combine blocks, wheels, fans, and even TNT together to create mobile machines meant to traverse the length of the stage. While the main goal is to reach the destination at the end of the level, players earn more points by meeting certain requirements, like collecting star scrolls, reaching the end within a set time limit, or completing the level without using specific items in their contraptions.

Bad Piggies is a great educational game for teaching Planning, Flexibility and problem-solving, and is available on iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android (including Kindle) and Windows Phone. The game features no violence or inappropriate content, requires no reading and has simple controls, making it suitable for players ages 5 and up.


this game is good for kids who need help with:


Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals. Improving short-term planning.

At the start of each stage, players are shown the full layout of a level, and are then given a collection of parts they must combine to build a mechanism able to transport their pig to the goal at the end. Players combine wheels, fans, springs and balloons -- among other materials -- to roll, fly or tumble their way to the goal. By looking over the terrain and noting the locations of stars and other collectible materials, players can use that information to inform their decisions when it comes time to construct their vehicle. For example, if a level features a downhill segment ending with a ramp, players may want a sturdy, flat vehicle with evenly spaced wheels able to gain enough speed to go airborne off the ramp. In a stage consisting of many cliffs, player might want to create a lightweight vehicle nimble enough to fly through the level and avoid obstacles. There is no singular solution to each stage, meaning players can invent a variety of ways to complete their goal.


Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations.

Bad Piggies - Educational Game ReviewSince there isn’t necessarily one right answer to a level, players need to experiment with their constructions, re-organizing the positions of material in order to achieve a different path through the stage. To gain a perfect score, players must meet certain goals that change level-to-level, like collecting star scrolls, leaving certain materials out of their contraptions or reaching the end within a set amount of time. Meeting these requirements takes an open-ended approach, requiring players to adapt their strategies to meet the varying situations. Sometimes, players may have to build several contraptions within one level to meet all of that stage's goals, requiring them to reinvent their vehicle completely in order to get a perfect score.

Use this Play Together guide to learn how you can help your child turn Bad Piggies play time into a positive learning and relationship-building experience. To learn more about why playing games with your children is so important, check out our Science of Play page.

Talk Before You Play

Take a minute to talk with your child about how the Planning and Flexibility thinking skills work, and why they are important for success in school and at home.

Set Gameplay Goals

Bad Piggies is a single player game, so the best way to play together is to take turns between levels. If you have two devices available, feel free to each play along, comparing your contraptions and progression with each other. After looking over the goals listed below, work with your child to complete each one.

Gameplay Goals:

  • Complete Episode 1 to earn the "Ground Hog Day" achievement.
  • Earn the "When Pigs Fly" achievement by completing Episode 2
  • Earn the Pigshaw achievement by successfully transporting King Pig 5 times
  • Earn the Well Grounded achievement by getting a 3 star rating on all levels in Epsiode 1

Stop and Reflect

After you've completed the goals above, take a moment to discuss the importance of the thinking skills at play with your child.

  • Note some of the ways Planning skills help you make informed decisions in the game. What is the benefit of carefully looking over a level's layout? What kind of information do you gain from doing so? How does this information help you decide how to begin constructing your contraption?
  • Illustrate some ways similar Planning skills help us make informed decisions in real life. For example, what are the benefits of looking over your schedule for the day? How much homework needs to be done? Do you have any free time for friends? What chores do you have to do? What time does dinner start? Are there any shows you'd like to watch, and if so, when do they air? Note that by putting all this information into perspective, you can better plan out activities and tasks, and when best to do them.
  • Discuss with your child some of the levels you each found to be particularly challenging. What was the problem you encountered? What changes to the contraption did you have to make in order to overcome it?
  • Explain that shifting strategies and adapting to new challenges is an important skill in real life too. Ask your child to discuss a difficult subject or tough task at school, then discuss what new approaches can be implemented to try and remedy these challenges.

Our Make it Work activities are designed to transform your child’s gameplay to real-world improvements in thinking and academic skills. If you’re just getting started with LearningWorks for Kids, we suggest you try them all to find which are the best for you and your child.

Introduce the Thinking Skills

Read over the pages for Planning and Flexibility. Then take some time to introduce these skills to your child.

Explain to your child that:

  • Planning is the thinking skill that helps us to develop a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals, and complete tasks by doing things step-by-step.
  • Flexibility is the thinking skill that helps us adapt to new situations, learn from mistakes and change what we are doing in order to deal with different challenges.

Planning Activity

Brainstorm. Encourage children to brainstorm and write down possible steps for planning a school project, a birthday party or holiday shopping. Brainstorming basics include sharing ideas, accepting responses without judgment, and taking risks. Reflect upon how one person’s ideas may encourage new ideas from others and how brainstorming can result in creative solutions. Keep a binder of successful plans for future reference.

Flexibility Activity

Make mistakes. Showing your child that you are not afraid of making mistakes and that you can laugh at yourself, might allow him to laugh at his own errors. Show that you are able to learn from making a mistake. You can make a mistake by going the wrong way to an activity, mixing up ingredients in a recipe, making a hole in the wall while you are trying to hang a picture, or making an error when trying to complete a crossword puzzle or Sudoku. Encourage your child to talk about how he can learn from making mistakes.

Bad Piggies & ADHD

It is common among children with ADHD to lack the foresight to plan ahead. Whether they are making a presentation for class, or getting ready for an event, often they will arrive unprepared, assuring peers that they will just "wing it." Although there is something to be said about spontaneity, it is much better to have an organized plan when attempting to accomplish a task. The intricacy of Bad Piggies, make it difficult to complete a level by "winging it." Children with ADHD will be forced, through trial-and-error" and an understanding of the different game tools, to create a strategy that will allow their piggy to reach the end of the stage.

How to Use Bad Piggies for Kids with ADHD:

  • Children with ADHD are often admonished for having a one-track mind. Although this is not entirely true, it applies to the cases who tend to move on to another activity before trying all options. Bad Piggies requires children to attempt levels multiple times, using a variety of different strategies in order to complete a stage with three stars. Children with ADHD will need to think flexibly, trying alternate ways of escorting their piggies through the stage. They may feel discouraged at the first few failed attempts. Even if a level seems impossible, children with ADHD should weigh all options before moving on to a new stage. They should strive to complete each level, and with a solid grasp of flexible thinking, and creative experimentation - they will.
  • At the start of each stage, children are presented with a few different items to transport their piggies. Not all of the are useful. Balloons, fans, wheels, and blocks are just a few of the items that children might need to use. But before the impulse to immediately set their piggy in motion sets in, children with ADHD should use the overview feature to study the map, noting where certain items would be most helpful. It is with this initial examination that children can then plan their method of transportation.
  • The impulse to "wing it" may be too strong to overcome for some children with ADHD. If this is the case, Bad Piggies can still be a very useful game to instill ways of thinking flexibly to solve problems. On more difficult levels, piggies sent by whim will inevitably result in failure. However, when children analyze the reasons for their failure, engaging in metacognition, they will fare better in the future - assuming they make the necessary adjustments in their gameplay. Children should try to understand the function of each item before using them. For example, they should take a minute before starting each level to experiment with the various functionalities that are presented. Different combinations of items yield different results. Balloons make piggies fly, while adding a sandbag can counteract the effects of the balloons.

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