148Apps Network Post
Developer: GetAway Appventures
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★½☆☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Game makers can alliterate and throw dramatic words at their titles all they want, but our job as critics is to call a spade a spade. Hen House Havoc is a game in which players catch eggs, and although it is perfectly innocuous it doesn’t really try to escape its own ordinariness.

On the plus side, it works just fine and is surprisingly challenging. For whatever salient reason there could be, eggs are plummeting from a barn’s ceiling towards the Earth and, indeed, imminent breakage.

My job as player is to catch the ground-bound ovoids in a basket which I drag across the ground. There are also bonus eggs and bogey eggs (nice image) floating about that when caught do things like magnetically attract (Newton wept) all the falling eggs to your basket, or in contrast cruelly spoil some of the eggs you’ve already caught. The aim is to catch as many eggs as possible before either a) the 60 seconds is up or b) 12 eggs hit the ground. With four difficulty settings, and big points appreciably tough to get in any of them, players looking for a frenetic farmhouse challenge will at least be satisfied by the farmhouse and challenge bits.

But whether or not Hen House Havoc is frenetic, furious, and quite honestly fun is another matter. With its turgid country score gling-glinging away as it plays over the image of eggs falling to the backdrop of a very brown, very lifeless barn wall, all with exceedingly little else going on beyond said catching of eggs – bonus, bogey or otherwise – I doubt too many players will stick with Hen House Havoc for the long haul. Which is of course fair enough, it’s intended as a quick fix game, but even then it needs far more life, vigor, and personality to stand out in the heavily populated iOS crowd. The core gamey things like physics, mechanics, difficulty, all that stuff works fine if not astoundingly, but it’s hard to care even during a quick go when there’s so little joie de vivre.

But spirit is maybe easier to bestow than working mechanics, so maybe with some more work Hen House Havoc can become something more noteworthy. In its present incarnation it’s difficult to recommend, but at 99 cents it won’t break even the piggy bank if you’re curious, and you could certainly do far worse.

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