What’s the best free-to-play game on Steam? You might think it would be something huge like Warframe or War Thunder or Unturned. Instead it’s a simplistic fighting game that casts you in the classic fairy-tale role of a pig fighting off wolves, mugging them for their weapons, and then using those weapons against the next wave of snarling — but rather cute and cartoony — predators.

The one quoted review on Iron Snout’s Steam page calls it a “Strange Little Game That I Can’t Stop Playing.” It does have that addictive “click ’til you can’t click no more” feel that made Flappy Bird a mobile hit — albeit with considerably more blood and gore. Your pig is locked to the center of the screen, with vicious wolves coming at him from both sides. Your left and right arrows punch in that direction, and you can also jump and crouch. Using more than one button at a time unleashes a combo move like a leaping uppercut or jump kick.

Many of the wolves sport weapons. Some simply charge you with meat cleavers, while others hurl their pointy projectiles, bounce up and down on a halberd like a pogo stick, or fly at you with rockets — which you can redirect into oncoming enemies. Sometimes they drop their weapons when you kill them; if you’re quick enough, you can grab them and use them against your next assailant. Your pig can take 10 hit points’ worth of abuse — denoted by strips of bacon — before it’s game over.

I’ve only played a few rounds, or 15 minutes’ worth, and I can’t say I won’t go back. It’s fun and addictive in small doses, and I actually want to achieve a higher score just so I can see how later waves of wolves try to chop my pork. I can see why it would be a hit on mobile; the basic game has a 4.4 rating on Android, with “Iron Snout+ Pig Fighting Game” boasting an even more impressive 4.7. Spinoff game Bacon May Die grants your pig more mobility (and guns!) and it scores an even more astronomical 4.9.

Mobile hits don’t always translate well to picky PC players, but Iron Snout has done just that. It has a stellar 98% positive rating, on over 10,000 reviews, making it the #1 highest rated F2P game on Steam as of this writing. It’s no flash in the pan either; I saw this same result the first time I ran this search, a few weeks ago, and Iron Snout was on top then, too.

So why is Iron Snout the most popular game on Steam, while more complex, “core” games are farther down the list? That’s probably because it is what it is and doesn’t try to do any more. The more you put in your game, the better chance you have of adding something that will piss someone off. Think of any online game you’ve played that probably did 50 things you liked, and two or three that you hated. Maybe it was character animations or some aspect of progression or just your expectations from the pre-launch hype not perfectly aligning with reality, or whatever. Then a big patch or expansion comes out, adding a bunch more content … and nerfing your favorite build. Maybe you lived with it for a while, or maybe you immediately threw up your hands and gave it a big “nope” — and a negative Steam review — before moving on to something else entirely.

You likely won’t stick with Iron Snout long enough to grow truly dissatisfied with it. Most of the reviews on the front of its Steam page show less than two hours of game time. Bacon May Die was approved on Steam Greenlight (back when that was a thing) so you’ll be able to give that a shot someday, too.

I don’t usually go by that old F2P chestnut, “It’s free, what have you got to lose?” because the answer to that is usually “time.” But Iron Snout will take up little enough of your time that it’s worth checking into, even if, like me, it’s not your usual fare. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got more wolves to slaughter and a high score to beat …

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. PuddingBear on July 20, 2017

    HAHAHAHA The attention span of the online gamers

    • Kevin Flemming on July 21, 2017

      I know what you mean. it’s crazy how li…
      … oh, a squirrel.

  2. Hellsworth on July 18, 2017

    It is what it is because Valve got payed to give it those thumbs up that particular day/week. It’s like that random Twitch streamer that has his normal steady 30k viewers and gets payed to do a stream about a random game and that will put the game on the front page of Twitch. C’mon how can no one see this? No one should believe these stats done by companies in THEIR own apps.

    • get a load of this guy on July 21, 2017

      Because every game on Steam is made by Valve

      • Hellsworth on July 23, 2017

        No games on Steam that “ninja” pops up are payed to be displayed on that day/week.

  3. Joseph on July 18, 2017

    And.. I’m not surprised. At least it’s better than most of the gruel that steam’s been serving out in the f2p section. No offense.

    • Kevin Flemming on July 18, 2017

      I haven’t played this but I do know what you mean with Steam’s F2P games. Most of them are just bloody awful (full MMORPGs included).

      I’m actually considering going back to consoles lol.

      • Kevin you are so bad on July 18, 2017

        All of your comments are pure trash

        • Kevin Flemming on July 19, 2017

          Well, I’m just glad I am worthy of your attention. If you don’t like what I say, then that isn’t any of my problem, little snowflake.

          • Kevin Isn't Half Bad on July 19, 2017

            Why the hate towards him?

          • Kevin Flemming on July 19, 2017

            Haha, nice name.
            I don’t know. Maybe they just need a hug or something. Some people get outraged when a person’s opinion doesn’t coincide with theirs. It’s only natural. But it shouldn’t sway your feelings toward any particular subject. We’re all entitled to opinions, regardless of this and that.
            Yes, I have posted a few negative comments but hey, I’m not the only one. Majority of comments on the majority of games here are negative. Why? Well, because either the games are bad (which most are, let’s face facts here) or players don’t like them. Simple as that, really.
            It’s hardly worth singling me out for, given the vast amount of negativity here. But hey, I like the attention so keep it coming if that’s what gets them off lol.

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