Game: Bomb Chicken
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch (Review code provided)
Bomb Chicken has been reviewed for us by guest reviewer Daryl Baxter – you can find him on Twitter @darylbaxter.
I came into this not expecting much and pretty much came away feeling the same after going through its 29 levels. Bomb Chicken is a game that was meant to be released for iOS and Android, but was then re-thought for Steam and eventually Switch. It’s a puzzle-platformer where you control, shockingly, a chicken. However this chicken that doesn’t lay eggs – it lays bombs.
The story, which I’m sure you’re wanting to know for a chicken game, is all about discovering the deepest, dark secret of the fast food monopoly company, BFC, and their incredibly addictive blue hot sauce. Also something about what came first, the chicken or the bomb, but I digress…
I play a lot of retro games when I have the free time, and this reminded me of two games from Nintendo’s early handheld era; Wario Land 4 from the Game Boy Advance and Wario Blast from the Game Boy. Wario Land 4 because of the art style and graphics, with its platforming ways, while Wario Blast shares similarities in the ways you can use the bombs, from kicking, to laying out multiple ones at once.
Throughout the games 29 levels, you come into contact with workers or miners, who are out to try to catch you and eat you for their dinner. If you try to lay bombs, they will bump into them and walk in the opposite direction, so blowing them up is all about timing, just so they explode and the enemies are in range. This can become tedious.
The only controls you have are the d-pad to move, and any other button to lay a bomb. You can stack these to reach objects and platforms in the levels, or even kick some which will send them flying to the other side of the screen. When these bombs explode near breakable blocks, you can sometimes gain gems, which will enable you to buy more health. But this also opens up another side to the game, where the puzzle element is used.
Scattered throughout the levels, there are keycards that you need to grab, and usually these are accessed by strategically laying bombs in the right place to make a ladder, or by kicking a bomb into a tunnel, which will push a switch. It’s innovative that you can use the bombs like this, but at least for the first third of the game, there were moments where I just wanted a jump button. But no, its always the bombs.
There are bosses across these three worlds, but they are, unfortunately, uninspired, feeling like they’re they’re a love letter to Super Meat Boy more than anything. They’re okay and they fulfil their job of being a boss, but you do get this overall feeling that you’ve done this before, except you’re using bombs this time.
The music is nice, for what little there is of it. It’s more atmospheric, full of chickens clucking, which kept in line with it being just a fun, pick up and play game, helped by the Switch’s pick up and play nature. The HD Rumble when the bombs explode is a nice touch too.
It shows, however, that it was made in mind for a smartphone. It’s short enough that you can complete it in an evening, and there’s no replayability. I thought there would be once you finished the game, or once you collected enough gems, but no, it just ends after the final boss. The developers have pledged further support, however, so it’ll be interesting to see how this develops in the future. For the time being, though, it’s probably a little too repetitive for some.
Bomb Chicken is a straightforward game, which is worth an evening of your time or your train commute to work and back. It’s got great art and decent gameply but can get repetitive pretty fast and is a little short lived.