A bird-brained arcade game

Chicken Little, the eponymous hero of the currently showing children's animated movie and this computer game, was in the original tale a female chick deathly scared when an acorn fell on her head in the woods one day.

By
December 28, 2005 12:20
3 minute read.
chicken little disk 88

chicken little disk 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Chicken Little, the eponymous hero of the currently showing children's animated movie and this computer game, was in the original tale a female chick deathly scared when an acorn fell on her head in the woods one day. "She trembled all over. She shook so hard, half her feathers fell out. 'Help! Help! The sky is falling! I have to go tell the king!' she shouts in a false alarm," according to the classic story. Then she met Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey and Turkey Lurkey, who joined her to inform the king of the alleged catastrophe. But when they met up with Foxy Loxy - who had a predilection for all types of poultry - the fox led them straight to his den, and they never saw the king to inform him that the sky was falling. In this bird-brained arcade game, played at any of three levels of difficulty, the main character is a male - apparently because the developers thought boy gamers don't like to play female characters, so it wouldn't sell well. But that is not the reason why, on its own merits, Chicken Little should be a Flop Big! It is just badly done, with mediocre graphics, uninspired and repetitive background music, silly puns, not even a modicum of imagination and no point at all - a spinoff aimed at making money off the Disney movie. Our green-spectacled hero runs around the screen hyperactively like a chicken without a head. You are forced endlessly to help him collect acorns and coins in the town square of his home town, Oakey Oaks, and create pandemonium in the hallways of a local school. You press the J key to hold onto poles illuminated by red-and-yellow pulsing arrows and shimmy your way up with a yo-yo string, slide down Omega lines, press the space bar to jump and push your way through the 3-D environment. When you have finally amassed enough coins to buy soda from a vending machine, he shakes it and attaches it to his bottom so the gas bubbles propel him at jet speed through tunnels and into the sky. How clever! His meager wings turn into fists for slashing at objects and enemies, and he throws a grapple hook to pull himself across large gaps. At one point in the game, the chicken has caused so much chaos that his double-chinned father Buck Cluck drives him home and urges him to stay out of trouble. Later you play help Chicken Little play dodgeball against Fish-Out-of-Water (a creature that walks on its tail and breathes oxygen through a water-filled helmet); an obese pig ironically called Runt of the Litter; and Abby Mallard (the Ugly Duckling). But this ballgame is absolutely humdrum. In another section, flying saucers attack residents of the town square and have to be repelled with cannon fire. Further into the game, Foxy Loxy disguises himself as a policeman, changes his van's sign to "Poul-ice" and helpfully loads the animals into the vehicle for a trip to headquarters as our hero remembers the "Wanted for Kidnapping Poultry" poster he has already seen. But it's too late, as Foxy locks them in and tosses the acorn up to the sky, where it alerts a police helicopter flown by a hippo who overcomes the wily fox. At the end, Chicken Little plants the acorn near his coop and spends his retirement retelling the story to his grandchildren. As you proceed through the game and win points, you can collect five Buck Cluck cards in each level that entitle you to unlock several minigames. From time to time during the action, you are "treated" to cutscenes from the movie now showing in cinemas. But the segments are fuzzy and badly edited, and thus they are no hors d'oeuvre tempting players to rush out and go see the film. This game is not in the same class as Shrek or Toy Story - both of which were films turned into software - and it is certainly not worth the NIS 200 price. After only a few hours of this mayhem, I wanted to slaughter the chicken, remove this turkey from my hard disk and run to tell the king.


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