Finland’s Rovio has long answered criticism that it’s a one-hit wonder by saying that it can make endless extensions of the Angry Birds universe the way that Nintendo turned Mario into the source of dozens of games.
The company’s Mighty Eagle or chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka even told us once that they could just make a game from the pig’s point of view.
But now it looks like YCombinator alumnus Gorden Hempton has gone and done it for them with Misunderstood Pigs.
He inverts the Angry Birds world and game mechanics by asking players to build shelters for some misunderstood ungulates before a bird-based onslaught. As a first launch, the game is a little bit rough around the edges. The way players have to drag and drop wooden blocks and glass cubes is cumbersome.
Developed entirely in Fireworks as a side project, the game is free-to-play and supported by ads. While the gameplay is technically isn’t Angry Birds’, the art style, navigation and presentation are extremely similar — enough that it’s very clear that the game is a parody.
Rovio is no stranger to seeing its intellectual property crop up in other developer’s games and has been efficient at finding and removing copycat apps. At the end of November a game called Angry Chickens Lite surged to the top of the iPhone charts boasting similar (but not identical) gameplay themes and artwork. That app is no longer available in the iTunes store.