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About the Game
Released in 2007 by Zoo Digital Publishing, Chicken Shoot is a game where you, as a farmer, shoot chickens over a series of varying landscapes and scenery.
There are no deep plots or storylines in this game, you just shoot chickens all day and that's it!
On booting the cartridge the main menu is displayed and from here you have options to -
Start the Game - This option allows you to start the game in Arcade, Classic or Catch an egg mode (more on these later!). You can choose to play the game in Easy, medium or hard level settings.
Multiplayer - Allows you to either host or join a game wirelessly with up to four players
Options - Allows you to alter the Music and Special effects volume and alter the control setup to suit a left or right handed player.
High Score - Displays the High Scores for each of the game modes.
Credits - View a list of the developer credits.
So starting the game in single player, Classic mode with easy skill settings off I went to kill me some chickens - yeeee haaaa!
The first Level is named The Village. The local village is the first location where you will start your poultry slaughter. The top screen displays a scrolling landscape of the village with a crosshair of a gun overlaid on top. The bottom screen displays your score, the time remaining until your game has ended, an icon of your current weapon and a bar showing you how much ammo you have left.
Shooting the chickens is straightforward; using either the touch screen or the D-Pad you aim your cross hairs at the ridiculous amount of chickens that fly, walk or fly (in a plane or hot air balloon) past you. Pushing the A button fires your currently selected weapon at the offending poultry and sends them plummeting to the ground. Your score increases and your ammo are depleted. You can also use the shoulder buttons to scroll across your shooting range.
Some chickens fly past holding power ups in their mouths. The power ups can range from adding extra time to your clock to weapons upgrades. To get these power ups you shoot the chicken holding the power up and the power up falls to the floor and can be used. Whether or not you need an automatic machine gun to tackle a few feathered friends is a question in itself!
You have infinite gun bullets, but limited ammo on the power up weapons. Reloading your gun is simply a matter of pressing the B button on your console.
Its not all Kill, kill, kill though as some chickens, who are obviously upset that you are shooting at them decide to take revenge and through their eggs at you. If an egg hits you then your score is depleted. You can hit the egg with your weapon and destroy it in motion, if you are quick enough and aim eggsactly (groan!) at the target.
You progress up the levels by killing sufficient chickens and gaining points.
For each level the scenery is different and the music and chickens are dressed appropriately for their surroundings. Levels are based in forests, the desert, Antarctic and a couple of other places.
Sadly, despite the change of scenery the Gameplay remains the same; you keep killing chickens. In fact it was very easy to progress through the levels and complete the game first time in easy mode. Once you complete the game and gain a high score you can enter your name for the high score charts. And basically that is the whole game in a nutshell.
The Arcade mode has the same Gameplay and levels though you have a health status bar instead of the clock. Each time an egg hits you your health bar is depleted. Once it reaches empty then the game is over. There are no time power-ups available but other than that there is no difference between classic and arcade modes.
The third game mode named 'catch an egg' is an entirely different mini game. In this game you are in a barn with 6 chickens that are laying eggs. You are perched (groan!) in the middle of the hen's cages and as they lay eggs they start to roll at different speeds towards you. The aim of the game is to position your character with his basket and catch each egg. If the egg falls then the game is over. I found this to be a really simple game and quickly tiring.
The graphics are quite good. The scenery is cartoon styled and colourful and the chickens are a little rough around the edges though they are animated well.
All of the fonts used for instructions, menu's and Gameplay are clear and easily read.
Sound and controls
The music varies depending on the location of the level you are on. For example, in the Nevada desert you have Indian reservation style music. Some music passes you by and some can drive you potty (the farm music for example), luckily you can turn the music down, or indeed off in the options menu.
The weapons sounds are good and the gun shots ring loud. The sound of the chickens in their death calls are disappointing though as they simply squawk.
As for the controls, I found that moving the target crosshairs around with the D-Pad was infinitely more ergonomic than attempting to use the stylus and touch screen. In fact, the whole game was easier to play using the buttons and D-Pad rather than the screen and shoulder buttons. The controls work well and were fast and responsive.
The lack of variety of Gameplay in this title is my biggest bugbear. I found myself tired of the game within 5 minutes of the first game. I think games of this genre are better suited to the bigger consoles such as the Wii where you can use light guns to shoot the targets rather than repeatedly tapping buttons (this game is available on the Wii but I haven't played it). There is also little reward for doing well; after 20 minutes of progressing through all of the levels and completing the game I was told 'Well done, you've killed all the chickens', or words similar to that. I was hoping for a fanfare of trumpets and fireworks for having endured the game for so long. Overall I was disappointed with this purchase.
Additional details, Price & Availability
Publisher: Zoo Digital Publishing
Developer: Destination Soft
Genre: Shooting Game
The game was available for £9.95 at Amazon marketplace at the time of writing.
Copyright M Jones (Otalgia) 2008
The furious farmer and the pesky poultry are back for more fun and frolics, this time on the Nintendo Wii and DS. In Chicken Shoot players have to help our friend defend his farm land against an evil bunch of cluckers who are hell bent on making his life totally unbearable.