Play'n Go have just launched a brand new title, Flying Pigs. Whilst the game stands out from the crowd as a brand new type of video bingo game, we can't help but think we've heard that name before…
Back in July, NetEnt released their When Pigs Fly slot, and the game's unique and original theme brought it tons of praise. It's proved to be very popular and, although the two games are very different in style, it begs the question, are Play'n Go trying to cash in on NetEnt's success? Or is it all just coincidence? We're looking at the similarities (and differences) between the two titles to decide if Flying Pigs is a rip off, or the real deal.
Flying Pigs is Play'n Go's newest foray into the world of video bingo. The game was developed in partnership with Latin American land-based casino experts Zest Gaming, and it marks the first online title to combine a slot mechanic with a video bingo display.
The game combines the graphics and features of slots with the game of bingo, in an individual player format. There are four bingo cards on the screen, and these are made up of a 3×5 layout, with fifteen numbers upon each card. The numbers are drawn randomly, and players must create paylines, in the same way as a normal slot, to create a win. Like regular bingo, however, the big wins come through when a player can complete a card as a full house.
There's a secondary bonus game available players, which offers multipliers on their wins. In this game you must move pigs into the pen. Each pig you move will be assigned a different random multiplier, however if a selected pig transforms into an evil boar, it's game over.
Differences & Similarities
As you can see, in terms of gameplay the two titles are nothing alike. NetEnt's When Pigs Fly is a more traditional game, with it's defining feature being the 3125 ways to win. The fact Flying Pigs is a video bingo games makes it decidedly different to the When Pigs Fly slot game, and we're almost already convinced that this could simply be a coincidence.
However, let's take a closer look at the graphics of the two games. When Pigs Fly is set at a space camp, with the piggy characters cast as astronauts, whereas Flying Pigs, in contrast, is set on a farm. But, there is one striking similarity; the pigs in both games share a curious likeness to each other.
Both games' pigs are dressed in aviation outfits, with goggles and red clothing. Plus, both sets of pigs' are a little goofy looking, with big teeth and over exaggerated smiles. That's not to mention that the evil boar of Play'n Go's offering is sporting a superhero outfit very similar to one seen in When Pigs Fly's promotional material.
With the appearance of pigs being the only similarity between the two games, we can't really claim that one has ripped off the other. Of course, as a new casino game enthusiasts, we know that themes are often repackaged and redone – just look at the amount of ‘lucky irish' slots out there. That being said, with such a specific theme being replicated within a three month period, it simply looks a little weird. We'll give Play'n Go the benefit of the doubt however, and we're chalking it up to coincidence, similar artistic interpretations and unfortunate timing on Play'n Go's behalf.
The Problem With Ripping Off NetEnt
Although we're almost sure that Play'n Go didn't really wish to rip off When Pigs Fly, it must be annoying for the team over at NetEnt as copies of their games seem to be popping up everywhere.
Since the launch of Starburst back in 2012, how many retro yet simple slots have tried to replicate NetEnt's success? Well there was Jewel Blast by Quickspin, SuperFlip by Play'n Go and Flux by Thunderkick – just to name a few.
We can't expect slot designers to not pay attention to trends and once something makes it big, of course every developer out there wants a piece of the action. What every developer doesn't have, however, is the pure imagination of the NetEnt team. In fact, you can bet that NetEnt are probably unfazed by the amount of replicas of their ideas. This is because they've got a brand new concept waiting in the wings, ready to change the whole landscape of online slots again. And if it does bother them – don't worry guys, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!