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Family Friendly Gaming Hall of Fame






Hungry Chicks

 

 

SCORE: 82

 

Hungry Chicks 

 

These birds ain’t angry, they’re just hungry. You’re a big momma bird and your mission is simple: catch the worms and deliver them safely back to the nest. Well, it’s actually not too safe for the worm either way, but you get the picture. This addictive puzzle game from publisher Chillingo will show you the gentle, caring side of birds as opposed to that of the fighting fowls we’ve all played in the past.

The visual presentation of Hungry Chicks is very bright and full of color. The graphics are crisp and clear with three beautiful worlds in which to collect worms. The forest, desert, and island levels are beautifully drawn in cartoon style. The mom and dad birds which you’ll get to control are cute, pudgy little things that are basically look like volley balls with feathers. The baby chicks are, of course, adorable as they wait patiently for their meal. The imagery used in the game is safe for all ages. The worst thing you’ll find is that your bird can get electrocuted which is a little bit disturbing (and may cause a craving for fried chicken), but it’s not all that graphic. Also, if you fail to feed your baby birds their little birdy blue eyes fill up with tears which is just heart wrenching for softies like me. Assuming you can deal with the disappointment of these little guys, you won’t find any offensive imagery in Hungry Chicks.

I love the music used in this game. It’s upbeat and just plain fun to listen to. Each world features its own theme music. As you play the music is ever present but never distracting. The sound effects used throughout the game are simple but effective and work well in the game. You won’t find any violent or offensive sounds in Hungry Chicks.

As far as replay value, Hungry Chicks offers some incentives to replay but comes up a little short on content. Players will have access to 36 levels spread over the 3 worlds (that’s 12 per world for you mathletes out there).

This game will not take you long to play through. Even if you take your time on each level you can easily breeze through it in less than an hour. That being said, Hungry Chicks does give you some reasons to play through it again. Each level provides the potential to earn 3 stars. It is very unlikely that you’ll obtain a 3 star rating on every level your first time through, thus giving you a reason to go back and perfect your score. There are also some achievements to be awarded as you play, but most of these can be obtained with little or no effort. When you complete the game it does promise that more levels are coming soon (presumably at no additional cost), so the replay value of Hungry Chicks could increase as updates are released.

The gameplay of Hungry Chicks is unique. The goal on each level is to guide your pudgy parakeet through the level and safely reach your nest with worms in hand (or beak as the case may be). Many levels will require you to control two different colored birds and bring the correct number of worms back to the corresponding nest. You control your birds by “nudging” them with your finger which causes them to float up into the air and then they begin to fall again (thus the volleyball reference). You must continually nudge your bird in mid-air to direct her to the destination. This would be simple were it not for the various obstacles of doom that are inexplicably located in the nesting area. You’ll need to float your birds around bolts of electricity, spiked platforms, deadly swinging balls on chains, and the occasional gust of wind that will blow you exactly where you don’t want to go. There is only one villain who makes an appearance in the game. His name is Scruffy. We used to have a neighborhood cat who earned the name Scruffy (may she rest in peace) for her atrocious appearance. The bird in this game meets the same criteria. He’s not really that much of a villain; he just needs to eat too. Scruffy will steal the worms if he gets to them first and you must reclaim them by bumping into him. The violence in this game is really very minimal. Your birds can expire by flying into the aforementioned electrical beams or into any of the other insidious objects in the level which cause your friendly fowl to explode in a puff of feathers. Each level is cleverly designed and they progress logically helping you build on the skills you’ve already learned.

Hungry Chicks is safe for the family, though younger players will likely find the game too difficult to play beyond the first few levels. The game is rated 4+ in the app store, but Hungry Chicks would probably not be enjoyed by too many 4 year olds. Kids could glean a lesson on the importance of taking care of your family from Hungry Chicks, but they could also learn what happens to a bird on a wire. This game was a joy to pay and review and I am looking forward to the release of more levels in future updates.
-Roger

 

Graphics: 80%
Sound: 84%
Replay/Extras: 74%
Gameplay: 87%
Family Friendly Factor: 83%
System: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
Publisher: Chillingo
ESRB Rating: '4+' for 4+

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Roger@familyfriendlygaming.com