Crazy Chicken: Pirates in Review – More Tame Than Crazy

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While some developers have come a long way towards making playable FPS games on touch screen devices, the shooting gallery style game is really a much more pleasant experience for said hardware.  One franchise in particular that has always brought entertaining installments to this genre is Moorhuhn, aka Crazy Chicken depending on where you live in the world.  One recent edition to the franchise is Crazy Chicken: Pirates for iOS devices, which as of the writing of this article has been subtitled Christmas Edition for the holidays.  It has all the wackiness you’d expect if you were familiar with the brand, and three different game play modes to boot.

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Despite having 3 different game play modes, Crazy Chicken: Pirates basically has one overriding goal: shoot as many chickens as you can.  Defense mode is the most basic in the sense that you only have one screen and besides the chickens the only thing you have to shoot is falling presents.  Chickens will come from both directions and you lose a heart each time a chicken exits the screen on the opposite side.  Every 15 presents you shoot earns you an extra life, but they won’t last long.

In Classic and Arcade modes you have multiple screens that not only offer up poultry to pulverize but provide you with skulls to collect, coins to capture, diamonds to dredge up and other miscellaneous items to use as target practice.  There are counters for the diamonds, coins and skulls, but I honestly don’t know what happens when you collect all of a particular item.  Both Classic and arcade modes are timed, the big distinction being that Classic mode only gives you 90 seconds, whereas Arcade mode gives you extra time when you shoot chickens.

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To shoot you simply tap the screen, and on levels with multiple scenes you just swipe left or right to get to other parts of the island.  Like I said, from a control perspective this is the perfect fit for a touch screen.  There are 59 achievements to earn, and while there is a “current objective” when you begin each game you can complete each achievement at any time.  There is a leaderboard for each game play mode as well as a special one for the Halloween update, which I assume will become active again if the game is still around for Halloween next year.  The biggest thing missing from this game is a clear explanation of anything.  You actually have to select a game play mode and then pause the game to find out what the mode is actually about, and there are no clues given as to what, if anything, you earn for collecting things like diamonds, coins or skulls.

The visuals are extremely well done.  The animation is good, the design for the chickens looks great, and there are all kinds of nifty details if you can spare the time to look around.  The sound effects are a bit lackluster, mostly comprised of gunfire and the sounds when the chickens die.  I do like the tapping when one of the chickens “knocks” on the inside of your screen.  Unfortunately there is no music unless you’re on the menu screens, which is kind of a shame.

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I remember having a lot of fun with this series on my PC, and I was fully expecting the same enjoyment from this iOS installment.  Maybe I’ve grown a bit more finicky over the years, but it just felt like there wasn’t quite enough there this time around.  It’s certainly enjoyable trying to find all the little things you can shoot, and the chickens are quite humorous to watch, but after a while it gets extremely repetitive.  Add to that the lack of explanation from certain achievements to what collecting the “special” items gets you and the game just doesn’t rise to the top where it should be.  If you like shooting gallery style games you’ll still get a kick out of it, but it sadly rests squarely in the middle of the pack.

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App Summary
Title: Crazy Chicken: Pirates (Christmas Edition)Developer: Teyon
Reviewed Ver:1.0.6Min OS Req:5.0
Price:$0.99App Size:69.7 MB
  • Lots of things to shoot
  • Three different game play modes
  • Plenty of achievements
  • Love the chickens!
  • Not much variety in game play
  • Way too light on explanation
  • Lackluster sound and no music

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