Bomb Chicken: review

  • Format: Switch (version reviewed), PC
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Nitrome
  • Developer: Nitrome
  • Players: 1
  • Site: http://bombchickengame.com/
  • Game code provided by PR

A game where you play as a chicken? That’s a bit of a hard sell. A game where you play as a chicken that lays bombs instead of eggs? Sounds like that’s eggsactly our sort of game. And, by and large, it is.

This is an alliteratively awesome pixelated puzzle platformer, positively piled with poultry. You’ll come across other chickens now and again, but you’re the only one with bombs coming out of your bum. You can’t fly, not even for a few seconds; and you can’t jump, either. Navigating even the shortest of steps means laying a bomb to elevate yourself.

Although you can use your bombs to kill (most) enemies, most of the time you’ll be piling them up to reach higher places and avoid hazards and baddies below. The twist here is that you’re not immune to the explosions of your own bombs, and each is on a short timer of just a handful of seconds. You die in a single hit, so planning and reactions are key.

Winging it

The final considerations for your bomb laying are that they can provide a temporary barrier for projectiles, and you have the ability to kick them so that they’ll explode as soon as they hit something. Put all that together, and you have the potential for some great level design… which the developers take full advantage of. More devious and swear-inducing as you progress, there were plenty of moments that made us cry “that’s evil!” while refusing to give up.

Killing enemies is usually optional. Your primary objective is simply reaching the next pink-red door, which will trigger the next blissful autosave. Plenty of out-of-reach switches, conveyor belts, enemies that charge you, and more stand in your way. One memorable (and painful) sequence demanded that we lay enough bombs to reach the top of the screen, avoiding two sets of arrows on the way, and time our descent to avoid another round of arrows on the way down. All, of course, while keeping the imminent detonation of the bombs under our backside in mind.

Big fan of music, this chicken. “Bomb-bomb-bomb-booommbb…”

Blue gems are scattered throughout the game, usually in dangerous-to-nab places. It’s worth scooping up as many as you can, as they’re used to buy (progressively more expensive) extra lives. There are a few checkpoints before you reach each of the aforementioned doors, and having some retries to fall back on can be extremely welcome. As good as the game is, being thrown all the way back to the previous door when you almost made it to the next one can be disheartening.

It’s fun, it’s super easy to get into, and it’ll make you say naughty words. As you’d expect from a game that casts you as a high-explosive-laying chicken, there’s also a gentle sense of humour running through the experience. Whether on the go or on your TV, Bomb Chicken is a unique and wonderfully designed game with crisp and clear graphics. There; we made it to the end of the review without telling too many terrible yolks.

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Written by Luke K

Luke plays lots of videogames, now and again stopping to write about them. He's the editor in chief at Critical Gamer, which fools him into thinking his life has some kind of value. Chances are, if you pick up a copy of the latest Official PlayStation Magazine or GamesMaster, you'll find something he's written in there. Luke doesn't have a short temper. If you suggest otherwise, he will punch you in the face.

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