You’ve got to feel sorry for chickens. Not only do they have the unwelcome privilege of being the world’s favourite low-cost foodstuff, but they have to put up with being the butt of endless jokes as well.
And the chicken abuse continues in ChickenPOP!, a new casual game from developer Slidesoft in which you have to propel a hapless, pinwheeling chicken as high as you possibly can before it plummets to the ground.
The gameplay concept couldn’t be simpler. Each round begins with you firing a chicken into the sky from a cannon. Once the chicken is airborne, you keep it aloft and increase its altitude by tapping on the screen to create strangely robust and bouncy bubbles beneath it.
If you create a bubble in the right place, the chicken will collide gracefully with it and shoot further up the screen. Get it wrong and the chicken will sail past and continue its deadly descent, or bounce off at a funny angle so that you lose control.
Clucking good fun
It doesn’t take much to end your turn. If the chicken is descending too quickly your bubbles will be powerless to break its fall, so you have to concentrate. Making your job harder are bees that pop your bubbles, birds that fly across the screen, and surveillance drones that follow you and get in the way.
If you make it past this section, and that’s a big IF, you’ll enter the space section, where your chicken is tethered to the back of a rocket, swinging around wildly in zero gravity. Obviously you don’t need to worry about propelling yourself up the screen, because the rocket does that for you, so the aim here is simply to dodge meteors and other space objects.
Finally, there’s heaven. You’d think this would make for a chilled out experience, but it doesn’t because no animals are allowed. As a result, your ascent is blocked by super-aggressive angels blowing horns and firing arrows, and deadly bibles tumbling from the sky.
ChickenPOP! is incredibly difficult, but it lets you buy access to all three levels through IAPs. You can also buy characters other than the default chicken, though they are all chickens. You start the game with a hen, and unlock a rooster, a chick, and a chicken in a space suit.
ChickenPOP! is a real eggperience
Finally, you can buy an ad-free version of the game. There are plenty of opportunities to pay, but the only IAP that you really need to splash out on is the level unlock, because ChickenPOP! is incredibly unforgiving.
Of course, that means it’s also quite satisfying when you get into a groove and learn to master the game’s physics, dodging holy arrows and bopping into heavenly creatures like an avenging kung fu master.
All in all ChickenPOP! is a fairly mixed experience, with highs and lows. The menus and interface can look a little scrappy, but the ragdoll in-game graphics are slick and full of humour. The concept is good, but the difficulty is likely to be too demanding for some.
It’s not necessarily the slickest or most welcoming casual game on mobile, but ChickenPOP! is a lot of zany fun if you can handle the difficulty