Review: Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken
Title: Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken
Platform: PC, PSN (reviewed on PC)
Developer: Ratloop Asia
Publisher: Reverb Publishing
Tagline: The fight for freedom against a totalitarian society with birds
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Buy It Already
The idea of chickens and penguins in a locked in a battle of oppression over freedom sounds absolutely ridiculous and insane. I mean, I watched March of the Penguins and they seem like such docile creatures. But Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken locks these two aerial challenged birds in this exact struggle to make for a wonderful side scrolling platformer. Backed by the wonderful soundtrack of New World Revolution, we follow the journey of one chicken, who has decided it is time to stand up to the oppression and tyranny of the penguin regime with lots of bullets and other utensils of destruction.
I can understand if the above paragraph might leave you scratching your head trying to visualize how penguins and chickens would fight a war, but you would have far more fun just picking up Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken and playing it. Not much has changed from the PSN version of the game, although co-op play is now a feature for those that want to lay down some penguin mayhem with a friend in tow.
Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken is a side scrolling platformer, where you run, roll, duck and shoot a lot of enemies in your quest to take down the man, err, bird. The action on the screen is fast and quick, with players needing quick reflexes to make sure that they are not gunned down in the crossfire between two enemies. Some more unconventional weapons are introduced along the way, like the mind control bugs that allow a player to take over an enemy and use him to solve a puzzle out of reach.
Puzzles are well designed and tend to fit into the world at large. I never felt that I was performing a puzzle for the point of it being a puzzle. While some of these are as simple as finding a keycard, others will have you taking over several people as you manipulate elevators to get you to a sensitive area to complete a mission. I will admit that some of the puzzles towards the end of the game really left me scratching my head for some time, but with some time and thought, most should persevere without too much issue.
One thing that is frustrating is the rather difficult flying sequences. At points throughout the game, you will have to put your jetpack to use, and fly high into the sky to take on some propaganda zeppelins. While it seems a simple enough task, the controls for these sequences seem muddy and imprecise. Most of the times, I found myself flying in circles and eventually shot down. And it did not seem to matter on what control scheme I used as the problems were the same either with gamepad or mouse and keyboard. They just seemed out of place, even for a game that has “Rocket” in the title.
But even with the somewhat out of place jetpack sequences, there is a charm to Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken that just seemed to grab me and keep me hooked. Some of it is from the great visuals, but a think a great hook are the audio tracks supplied by New World Revolution. I had never heard of the band before Rocketbirds, but now I find myself humming the tracks while I am off doing other work. The tracks are an infectious groovy mix of electronica, dub step and rock and they just fit to the action, kicking in at the right moments and helping the cutscenes hit all that harder with the underlying message of the song.
If you have not picked up Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken, I highly suggest you grab the PC version, as it is a great platforming title for a lower price than the console versions. It is a slick and well produced title that combines great animated action with superb audio tracks. The flying sequences will annoy, but they are a small price to pay for an otherwise fantastic journey in the war between penguin and chicken.
- Well animated visuals
- Great underlying soundtrack
- Unique story
Penguins are Evil:
- Flying sequences are irritating
- Can feel a bit repetitive
- Some later game puzzles are very difficult
You would think that an animated story of the struggle between chickens and penguins would be a fun affair for all, but the younger kids should probably stay away from Rocketbirds Hardboiled Chicken. It is a game that features the two species gunning it out with lots of blood left in its wake. There are even suicidal penguins, so I would suggest keeping this for the teen and up crowd, and possibly the upper teenagers at that.