The developers at Atooi clearly had the words “cute” and “fun” in mind when they developed Chicken Wiggle. Chicken Wiggle is a 3DS platformer which revolves around guiding a flightless chicken and his worm buddy through various levels in order to free the player character’s feathered friends from cages. The plot is pretty lightly developed at the beginning, and the player is largely left to jump right in with little context. However, this is a minor blemish, and a plus is the fact that the tutorial the player goes through is actually useful and concise rather than tedious. The game has some unique and peculiar controls, but thankfully the game explains these controls very well from the beginning.
Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of this game is its aesthetic similarity to a classic GameBoy game. The developers clearly wanted to hit the player with a dose of nostalgia with GBA-style music and sound effects and old-school graphics. And the developers succeeded in doing so without a doubt. While the retro theme is largely a gimmick, Chicken Wiggle pulls it off splendidly, much more so than other games which attempt to do a similar thing. The familiar GameBoy style is noticeable from the moment the player hops into the game, and this style is maintained throughout the whole game, a childhood throwback that any long time Nintendo gamer is bound to appreciate.
Chicken Wiggle’s gameplay mechanics are very solidly designed. As mentioned earlier, this game features controls and mechanics which are atypical of traditional 2D platformers, but it executes them excellently. As a flightless bird, the protagonist only has one jump. However, the player can use the chicken’s worm buddy as a tether in order to latch onto higher objects. This worm can also be used as a whip to stun enemies, which can then be killed using the bird’s peck attack. In addition, the player can obtain power-ups in certain levels which give them special abilities, such as the ability to actually fly. All of these work together to create a game which will strike the player as familiar while all the while being incredibly unique and different.
The game makes good use of its platforming layout to create miniature puzzles and minigames that the player will have to complete in order to progress through the level. These include destroying blocks in a proper order in order to proceed without making contact with an enemy, or timing jumps while in the flying power-up in order to proceed through a narrow path of spike balls unscathed, Flappy Bird style. Chicken Wiggle consists of eight worlds, each containing six levels. These levels are fairly easy, at least at the beginning, with the first few worlds only taking about a half-hour each to complete. That being the case, the main game is relatively short and may fail to keep the player coming back after the first few play sessions.
Despite possessing a small main game, Chicken Wiggle still has the potential to have a lot of replay value thanks to its level creator and editor. As the level editor seems to include every feature in the game from the very beginning, regardless of whether or not the player has been introduced to this feature in the main game, it is probably best to beat the main game and get an understanding of the game in its entirety before tackling the level creator. However, the level creator features many options and is easy-to-use. As with any other level editor, this allows for endless possibilities, and creates much of the replay potential that this game has to offer. Naturally, the player will also have the option to share their created levels with the world and tackle levels that other players have created as well.
Chicken Wiggle is an extremely charming title, and playing the game is all-around a fun experience. While it may lack intense gameplay or countless of hours of predetermined content, it is a fantastic game to put a few hours into every now and then. The developers did an excellent job creating something with enough of a familiar surface to make the player feel comfortable playing it, while also providing a gameplay experience unlike any other platformer. And of course, any old-school GameBoy fan looking to relive the glory days is bound to have one heck of a time with Chicken Wiggle.
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