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PC Game Review

Hardboiled Chicken


Format: PC
Reverb Publishing
RRP: £6.99
Click here to buy
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 28 August 2012

What’s a chicken to do when injustice is rife in the world? For Hardboiled, the chicken on steroids, the answer is simple: kick butt. Hardboiled is a freedom fighter to his core and so accepts the mission to infiltrate Albatropolis, a land under the iron flipper of the penguin overlord Putzki...

Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a new side scrolling shooter from Ratloop Asia, which relies heavily on humour to augment an already fairly good game. You get fifteen chapters in the stand alone game, but there is also the option to play with a friend either in the same room or over the internet.

Review imageVisually, the game is presented in a cartoony manner, especially the cut scenes, which is in tune with the overall fun feel of the game. Backgrounds are surprisingly detailed as you make your way across the game screens. Although essentially a side scrolling game you can, and indeed need to, revisit previous screens in your quest for particular objects, like door keys. Later on in the games there are other things, like the Brain Bug which gives you control over your enemies, which you can pick up and helps get you out of sticky environmental puzzles in the later stages of the game.

Mobility is then both back and forth as well as up and down, there are boxes to climb, or hide behind as well as an assortment of access tunnels. There are differing environments, with atmospheric lighting, to traverse, in your quest to get the penguin and a small nod to a 3D experience, as along the way there are indented parts of the wall which you can take shelter in, if the shooting gets a bit too hairy. All this is augmented with genuinely funny cut scenes and a surprisingly strong narrative.

Review imageGiven the title, you play the game as a steroid poisoned chicken with a bit of a fresh mouth. At the start of the game you’re given only a hand gun, but worry not, kill off chicken clones and they will drop bullets, there is also a reasonable supply of health packs along the way, enough to give the game the hint of difficulty. There are a few control issues which makes the game a bit of a challenge. As you progress you can pick up better weapons, which is nice, however your enemies will come at you from both directions whereas you can only fire in one direction at a time.

If running back and forth killing things isn’t enough for you then Hardboiled also comes with his own rocket pack for some freewheeling aerial action. The only problem with this gameplay is that your opponents often fly off the game screen. There is an arrow to show you where they went, but this gives them an advantage in combat as you can no longer see them, but they have no problems in seeing you.

Review imageLike the side scrolling portions, there is health and bullets aplenty which drop on little parachutes. Given that you're likely to fly around with your finger on the ‘fire’ button most of the time, these become invaluable resources. In both cases the game was pretty straight forward to control from the PC keyboard although I would go with an Xbox compatible controller for a better gaming experience.

The game is visually pleasing with a good deal of thought having gone into the levels, funny cut scenes and a soundtrack which enhances, rather than detracts from, the game. The idea of the game is very simple, yet it is this simplicity which allows the gamer to sit back and just enjoy blowing the bejesus out of everything. It is the prefect little pocket money game, to play, after a hard day at work.


Charles Packer

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