Spicy Piggy doesn't just not mess about, it punishes any attempt at frivolity with cruelty. Think you've finished that level and can relax now? Say hello to a hidden set of spikes that's going to pop up just before you reach the chequered flag.

That's the sort of thing you're going to be dealing with on a regular basis if you decide to pick up the game. This isn't the usual, generous sort of distilled platformer we've come to expect from Nitrome - it's hard as nails, and if anything it's better for it.

Spicy Piggy will probably make you pull your hair out and swear much louder than is a good idea in public places. But when you manage to get past some of its tougher challenges, the joy you're going to feel is pretty hard to measure.

Hot. Hot, hot, hot

The game gives you three buttons. One lets you jump, one lets you slide, and the third fires out a blob of flame. You move to the right automatically - all you need to concentrate on is getting the timing of your taps just right.

That's way, way easier said than done though. The timings here are precise to the pixel, and there are times when you won't even be able to register the difference between success and failure. Essentially, Spicy Piggy isn't just content to let you fail, it wants you to suffer.

But the suffering it delivers is suffering with a solution. You're never stuck here because you can't fathom out what to do or where to go, you're stuck because the combination of moves you need to input is incredibly tough.

Spicy Piggy iOS screenshot - A robot filled level

There's the usual Nitrome checkpoint system here - you can unlock save points with the chillies you pick up as you play. If you don't have enough, you can watch a video. Or you can choose to head back to the start of the level and try again.

There are three different challenges on each level, and they give you stars for completion. You'll get one for just getting to the end, then there's one for finishing a level in a punishingly tight time limit, and another for picking up all the chillies available. Those stars unlock later levels, so grabbing them can be important.

The system balances things out in a clever way. Only when you're good enough to complete some of the earlier challenges will it become absolutely necessary to do so. It's little things like that that keep the difficulty just on the right side of manageable.

That burns

Spicy Piggy doesn't flinch when it comes to its core idea - messing up your life. But in doing so it makes even the tiniest victories here feel like huge accomplishments. This is a game that's going to result in an awful lot of fist-clenching celebrations, you can bet on that.

No, it isn't a game for the faint of heart, or anyone looking for something relaxing. If that's the case, you should definitely be looking somewhere else. Anyone who wants a game that's basically going to hit you in the face over and over again with a spade, and then give you a lump of gold (metaphorically, of course), then you should definitely give it a go.