Prepare to wear out your touchscreen in this simple tap-to-flap game.
Although I grew up on the many Tiger LCD pocket games and the original release of the Nintendo Game Boy, I still remember being amazed at how captivating playing a game like Snake or Space Impact on a then-amazing Nokia phone could be. It was impressive how a tiny phone could deliver a full entertainment with only a simple dot-matrix monochrome screen. Ever since those very early titles, of course, mobile gaming has grown much more elaborate. Tiny screens now house titles like Gameloft’s Modern Combat series or FDG Entertainment’s Oceanhorn offer graphical experiences very similar to what a player would expect from a PC or game console, and games such as Fantasy Flight Games’ Elder Sign, Robot Entertainment’s Hero Academy, or PixelDrop’s The Game Quantum are excellent ways to always have great gameplay on the go.
That being said, a game like Snake remains timeless due to its simplicity. Games like Crossy Road and Flappy Bird are some of the simplest games that have been offered on modern mobile devices, and Andrew Hills (Spotty Dog Games) has brought in a new game from the simple vein: Crazy Chook.
Starting the game puts the player in control of a portly avian that appears to be doomed to the same short flight times common to any other barnyard birdie. A single tap of the screen, however, reveals the truth as the titular Chook begins his auto-scrolling adventure with the tiniest of wing flaps. The game offers a simple challenge to collect floating eggs for points and feathers for additional flight time.
Plenty of items are thrown at the player along with a few dangers, as well. Hit an obstacle or hazard and it is back to the high score table to begin the trip anew. Players will need to watch out for clouds of smaller birds, a large dog who hates egg-bombing runs, and the dreaded eagle. Just in case things seem a bit too easy, Mother Nature is also ready to deliver strong winds and snowfall with no respect for tired wings.
Feathers act as a fuel source of sorts and while it is possible to run out of feathers, the developer has included a small increase of feathers for watching an ad. It is a small boost and completely optional. After a few games early on, players will be able to keep more than enough feathers in tow for extended flights and brand new high scores.
Yes, there are a couple of negatives about Crazy Chook, but neither of them are damning.
First, since the game is so simple, this game is best played in small doses. Stretch out your enjoyment by taking the time for as long a flight as possible, then take a break and come back for a second attempt at your own pace. There are no energy meters or time limits in Crazy Chook, so feel free to play at your own pace.
The second, final point is a little heavier and the pun is definitely intended. The Chook must’ve swallowed a bowling ball right before taking to the sky because players will need to tap the screen like crazy in order to keep the little bugger aloft. Releasing the screen for even a moment will cause the Chook to drop dramatically and in many cases, a low-hanging obstacle is lurking close by. Even a slight increase in the amount of lift generated by a single tap would help the poor Chook feel a little more mobile.
At the end of the day, Crazy Chook feels like the first App Store submission from a new developer and that is far from an insult. The game is competent, smooth, and appears to be free of glitches that can plague even AAA titles that would normally sell for $60 retail. I am confident that a few updates can freshen and polish this game to be even better.
You have my attention, Andrew Hills, and Mac Sources is looking forward to more of your work in the future. Fly, Crazy Chook, fly!
DOWNLOAD – Crazy Chook – FREE – iOS