Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Game Controls Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
When it comes to assessing an iOS app, I think that price point plays a particularly important role. This is especially true in comparison to reviews of other mediums, such as console games, films and Blu-ray movies. After all, there really is no standardization of price or expected price when it comes to iOS apps. As with all reviews, though, each experience must be evaluated independently and for its own strengths and weaknesses. But I believe that the cost of admission weighs particularly heavy in the process of critiquing iOS apps.
That’s why I’m so impressed with Pig&Chicks from Hocobi. The game is only a dollar, and yet you get a full-length adventure game.
The story involves a bunch of super-powered baby chicks who have escaped from a mad scientist’s lab. Like all good mad scientists, there are megalomaniac-like plans involving world domination. But these chicks won’t have any of it. They just want a peaceful existence. On their way to Dark City, they encounter a pig named Alfie who grew up outside of the city. The pig and the chicks decide to team up and head out.
You control both Alfie and the chicks are if they were one character. The game takes the form of a sidescroller, with Alfie constantly running forward. Using simple swipe controls, you swipe the screen to trigger Alfie to swing the chicks forward in a whipping-like motion. Since Alfie is always moving forward, all of the challenge comes from timing your swipes. Whenever an enemy comes on screen, you must perfectly time your swipe in that direction to hit the enemy and destroy it. The same is true when you come across obstacles, such as spiked gaps in a level. With a well-timed swipe, Alfie will throw the chicks towards the chasm and use them as a bridge. If you fail to swipe in time, Alfie will be damaged by the enemy or obstacles and lose health. If he loses enough health, it’s game over and the level starts from the beginning.
The game does a lot of things well. There are nearly 100 levels in Pig&Chicks, and they’re divided into 9 different theme worlds. There’s a healthy variety of themes here. You’ve got everything from forests to mines to snow. What’s more, the game keeps throwing plenty of new obstacles at you as you progress further into the adventure, keeping things entertaining along the way. It also does a solid job of becoming increasingly more challenging as it progresses.
That said, the title is far from perfect. While there are a ton of levels, many of them look so similar that you’ll feel like you’ve already played them before. Perhaps if there were fewer levels per world this wouldn’t be such a problem. Also the controls are simple in theory, but they do come with a bit of a learning curve. They’re tricky to get the hang of, and I imagine many players will chalk it up to poor game design and not give the game much of a chance. Lastly, the framerate is not smooth and when there’s a lot of action on screen, it dips often.
Pig&Chicks is still a fun, challenging iOS game. When you consider it’s only one dollar, you can’t help but feel you’re getting a pretty good bang for your buck.
Tagged with: $0.99, Hocobi, sidescroller