Game Reviews

Chop Chop Hockey

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| Chop Chop Hockey
Chop Chop Hockey
| Chop Chop Hockey

I can't be the only one who has wondered whether ninjas would be more adept at taking to the ice for a game of hockey than they would a football field.

Chop Chop Hockey puts the debate to rest: ninjas are indeed better at hockey than football.

Coming just months after the lacklustre Chop Chop Soccer, the first thing that springs to mind after a few minutes play is that, albeit narrowly, Chop Chop Hockey is a better game.

Hockey hack-up

Chop Chop Hockey is basically a beginner's guide to ice hockey delivered in three minute bursts with six ninjas in the rink.

Speed fuels each bout, and it's fair to say sophisticated tactics will get you nowhere. Regardless of the difficulty, matches swing from one end to another in a matter of seconds. Winning is a matter of making your shots count.

Moving is easy enough, although not particularly accurate. Guiding your players on the ice is done by holding a finger to the screen to send them in that general direction. Snatching the puck is equally straightforward: tap your finger on the guy you wish to take out.

Shooting, on the other hand, is a lottery. There are two ways to fire a shot off: either tap an empty part of the screen or swipe a finger in the direction you wish to shoot.

Both are problematic. The former often results in a pass rather than a shot, whereas the latter frequently sends the puck flying into the air.

Off target

Chop Chop Hockey is not without bugs, either. Sometimes, even when the run is clear, shots hit an invisible wall literally feet in front of you. It's especially annoying in tight tussles and it's only offset by another fault that prompts the opposition goalie to randomly leave his post to chase a non-existent puck.

As a consequence of inadequate controls and bugs, goals often come down to luck rather than skill. You're more likely to score amongst a packed defence than you are in one-on-one rush against the goalie.

All such kinks only become a real issue when you try and take Chop Chop Hockey seriously. As a one off mini-game, its ups and downs are more likely to result in a laugh or two than any kind of anger.

No long game

Playing through any of the game's four tournament modes makes the aforementioned issues all the more grating, though. It doesn't help that each tournament is unlocked in sequence – something that, through no fault of your own, Chop Chop Hockey often makes rather difficult to do.

Other than that, the only criticism that can be fairly laid at the game's door is a lack of personality. There's no distinct difference between the teams on offer here, each one playing like the other, albeit in different colours.

As before, however, this is something you're only likely to notice after a heavy playing session. For a five minute fix, Chop Chop Hockey just about touches the right spots.

Chop Chop Hockey

A light take on ice hockey rather than a serious sim, Chop Chop Hockey ditches skill for speed, polished gameplay for bugs, and pirates for ninjas