Chicken Invaders
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| Chicken Invaders

Chickens. There’s something about them that’s just inherently funny.

Whether it’s the clucking, the walking, or just the fact that you can make about a billion unfunny puns from the word 'egg', they never fail to entertain.

Unfortunately, put chickens into the role of invaders from space and suddenly they become a lot less fun. That's if Chicken Invaders is anything to go by, at least.

Panned

Chicken Invaders is a vertically scrolling shooter in which the fowl aliens are 3D chickens, hell-bent on enslaving the solar system.

It doesn’t start well, with an unfunny scrolling intro and a poor sample with an obvious break-point looping underneath.

Once the game gets going properly, things nose-dive further into the trough, with a ‘prologue’ wave pitting you against a giant chicken that takes literally five minutes of constant hammering of the ‘5’ key to kill.

After dying countless times in desperation I hammered all the buttons looking for some kind of release from the torture, only to come across a poorly drawn missile that effectively destroys the boss in five hits.

Alas, this missile supply is linked to the amount of roast chicken you collect during the dull waves that follow, so while the next boss I encountered was easy (three missiles) my supply had run dry by the third wretched ‘boss’.

Scramble, scramble!

One aspect of Chicken Invaders that isn’t infuriating, though, is the ship itself, which moves with a nice degree of momentum and feels satisfying to sweep across the screen.

It would have been handier if the bullets (eggs) the chickens fire didn’t look like the background stars, though, as I might have been able to dodge something.

Talking of dodging, Chicken Invaders comes with the most confusing definition of a power-up I’ve seen since games stopped dropping insta-kill boxes as ‘rewards’ in the '90s.

Dropped randomly as gift boxes, these ‘special’ weapons are special in that most are worse than your existing arsenal, especially if the currently held weapon has received an upgrade.

They also never wear off, so accidently grabbing a ‘red’ power-up just before a boss wave is the equivalent of adding another 3,000 extra button clicks to the stupefyingly dull ‘battle’ to come.

Funny-side up

For the sake of balance, there were some other bearable aspects about the game. The chickens themselves are okay, and the game does have an ironic sense of humour running through it, as demonstrated by a level that describes itself as not being ready yet.

But that particular joke would have been funnier if it weren’t so true.

Chicken Invaders

Chicken Invaders’s unfair bullets and RSI-inducing boss battles undermine the odd humour and good controls. Buy this and the yolk’s on you
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