It’s Easter! For those reading from the UK, I hope you’re having a lovely bank holiday and are reading this while juggling a controller in one hand and copious amounts of chocolate in the other. A long weekend is the perfect excuse for doing nothing but playing video games and eating Easter eggs.
Last year I paid honour to the oval objects by writing a post to give you all sorts of eggy-inspiration when it came to choosing your next game to play. This time however, I’m going to mix it up and focus another thing it wouldn’t be Easter without: chicks. From mothers trying to save their eggs to fowls with guns to birds with a grudge, read on to find out about the best chickens in gaming.
The earliest release on our list today, Chicken is a modified version of the Atari arcade game Avalanche. Instead of catching falling rocks with a controllable set of paddles you’re now in control of a hen who’s trying to catch her eggs in a basket after a fox pushes them from the top of the screen. If one reaches the ground it’ll hatch into a chick; and if you step on one of your children, the farmer will appear and kick you off the playing field. There are so many clichés and metaphors here that I’m not entirely sure where to start.
1993: Alfred Chicken
Eggs have been disappearing in the wild and wacky town of Pecklesville and it’s up to our hero to save the day. Alfred Chicken has amazing abilities such as walking, jumping, pecking and falling, and must use these to overcome bizarre levels full of balloons, telephones and cheese. I’m not sure what the worst element of this game is: the fact that none of it makes sense, the terrible MIDI music, or because the protagonist doesn’t look anything like a chicken despite his name.
2009: Chicken Blaster
If you fancy getting out your lightgun and reliving the days of Duck Hunt, then this Wii release might be for you: there are chickens and you blast them. Sadly though they can’t really fly away like ducks and therefore have a very limited chance of escape, which means you’ll kill an awful lot of the creatures while trying to work your way through all eight levels. I like my KFC as much as the next gamer but I’m now starting to feel a little uncomfortable about including this game on the list.
2013: The Sims 3: Fowl and Feathers Chicken Coop
Fancy making some feathered friends in an add-on for The Sims 3? You can go and talk to your chicken about important things (such as why they decided to cross the road) and if you’re lucky they’ll receive some Universal Enlightenment. If you’re not so lucky however, you’ll run into something far worse. Selecting the ‘Fight with Charles the Evil Chicken’ option causes the glowing-eyed fowl to viciously attack your Sim and it’s up to you to show him who rules the roost.
The eagle-eyed of you may notice that this title also appeared on last year’s list, but I wanted to bring it back again for two very special reasons. First, you play as a chicken armed with a gun: pick up eggs as ammo for your weapon, fight off the zombies and collect all the golden eggs to continue on your epic journey through this single-bird shooter. And second, I wanted an excuse to be able to use the phrase ‘clucking rampage’. That’s comedy gold
2018: Chicken Madness
This release is included in today’s post for no reason other than the Steam trailer (which isn’t the one above, because I couldn’t seem to find it on YouTube). I’m not sure what I like about it the most: perhaps the group of kids around ten seconds in and their enthusiastic interpretation of the game’s title. Or maybe the dancing teenager in the next scene, or even the chicken opera singer. I actually have no idea what Chicken Madness is about though because I was so distracted.
Bonus: The Legend of Zelda
Ever since the introduction of a Cucco in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, a large group of indestructible chickens will appear and gang up on Link if he attacks one of them enough times. They won’t stop until he flees the area in fear or painfully perishes in a flurry of pecking beaks. I think it’s clear from the other entries on today’s list just how poorly mistreated chickens in video games have been over the years, so I can’t say I blame the Cucco’s Revenge Squad for their actions.
Hopefully this selection of games hasn’t ruffled your feathers too much (ahem). Let us know what you’re playing this Easter in the comments below, and make sure you eat plenty of chocolate!
Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.