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Bomb Chicken

Posted by GG Goblin On July - 13 - 2018

Cluck, cluck, boom!

Chickens seem to be the subject of so many jokes and puns, offering an easy target for anyone who wants to elicit a groan from their audience. Because of this innate silliness, there have been a fair few chicken games over the years, or at least references to chickens. However, I don’t think I can remember a single game in which the main character is a chicken that can lay bombs instead of eggs. In this respect, I must applaud developers Nitrome for their first console outing with Bomb Chicken on Nintendo Switch, and the fact that they have managed to make chickens even more silly.

bc1 (Copy)

Bomb Chicken is a puzzle platformer in which the player takes on the role of a chicken. This is not any normal chicken, mind you. This chicken has been given the power to lay limitless bombs instead of eggs, thanks to a freak accident at some kind of fast food mass production factory. The grim future that faced this chicken has just got a little less grim as the player will be able to use this bomb laying ability to escape, and maybe get a little revenge on the fast food chicken company, BFC.

Yeah, it’s a silly set up. But still, players get to play as a chicken that lays bombs. Surely that is every gamers dream?

The chicken can’t really do much besides move from left to right and lay bombs, which will explode in a short amount of time and kill the chicken if they happen to be too close. However, the developers have come up with so many ways to use this bomb laying to overcome obstacles, that this simple action actually becomes a complex mechanic. Reaching high platforms or crossing gaps, the chicken will have to lay multiple bombs, either stacking them on top of each other with the chicken on top, or laying them out to fill the gaps. Then the eggs can be stacked to create a temporary barrier from enemies, or pushed to activate switches or explode an enemy. It is quite impressive how many different ways the bombs can be used to overcome the obstacles in the game.

The bomb laying mechanic is quite easy to pick up as well. As the difficulty ramps up through progression in the game, new ideas and new enemies are introduced, but it never seems like a stretch to put these ideas into practice or defeat an enemy. There are some 29 levels in the game, spread across three different areas, and while it does get more difficult, it never becomes too difficult to understand, and generous checkpoints ensure that the regular levels are far from frustrating.

bc2 (Copy)

The boss battles in the game are a little bit more tricky though. These levels ramp the difficulty up quite substantially in quite a contrast to the rest of the game. They are great encounters though, challenging the player to once again use their bombs to great effect.

Players can gather gems throughout the levels in order to increase their health hearts, giving them that little bit of an extra chance should they be struggling. There is also the occasional secret area to discover with gems as a reward.

When it comes to presentation, Bomb Chicken has a great retro pixel visual style with an atmospheric soundtrack that perfectly suits the on screen action. There is some nice variety to the various creatures in the game, and there is always something new to look at. And there is an abundance of humour, from the things going on in the background, to the way our little bomb laying chicken moves. It is easy to see that a lot of effort has gone into creating this puzzle platformer.

There is a downside to all of this “eggcitement” however. Unfortunately, the “eggscapades” only last for a few hours, and there is not much by way of incentive to go back and play again once finished. Priced at £11.99 on the Switch, Bomb Chicken is a bit on the steep side. But then that seems to be a trend on the Switch and something that Switch owners have had to come to terms with.

bc3 (Copy)

If you can get past the price and length of the game, Bomb Chicken is a bucket full of fun. The concept is great, the gameplay works and is easy to pick up, and the lead character is absolutely filled with charm. For puzzle platforming action, Bomb Chicken really hits the mark and is far more fun than visiting the local drive-thru.




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