Bomb Chicken is a puzzle platformer with a very unique premise. An ordinary chicken is a victim of a freak accident and can suddenly start laying bombs. Use this newfound ability to uncover the secret of the fast food restaurant BFC and its blue hot sauce. Each level is filled with puzzle platforming challenges in which you’ll need to lay bombs in order to make your way to the end. So the premise is intriguing, but how does it hold up?
Bomb Chicken’s unique mechanics make for some interesting puzzles and challenging gameplay. Not being able to jump in this game forces you to utilise this bomb-laying ability, so you’ll need to think before making a move. There are no limits to the amount of bombs that you can lay, making way for some crazy bombing mayhem. The game consists of 5-10 minute bite-sized levels, which we feel is a perfect fit on the Nintendo Switch for quick gameplay on the go.
The game is well-paced, with some of the later levels becoming incredibly difficult. Bomb Chicken has great replayability, allowing you to easily go back and attempt to collect every gem in order to trade them in for heart containers.
Many levels introduce new types of challenges and enemies, even late in the game. Bomb Chicken does well to teach you those mechanics early with well thought out puzzle design. Health upgrades come in the form of offering jewels to the chicken shrine, encouraging you to collect as many as you can… and trust me, you’re going to need them.
It wouldn’t be a game focused around bombs and explosions without cracked walls. Secret areas make the game feel less linear and provide extra rewards. These secret areas often contain puzzles that are specifically designed around stretching the game’s mechanics to its limits.
Also, tactile feedback with HD Rumble is absolutely fantastic! You feel every explosion and more, bringing the experience to life right in your hands.
The humor in Bomb Chicken is brilliant, with funny quips from shrines to having a level take place in a BFC (Bomb Fried Chicken… just in case that didn’t click straight away). Enemies and the Bomb Chicken often have funny idle animations, like an enemy playing a game on a tablet or a chicken clucking around the place. Also when you blow up a chicken, it turns into a roast chicken… hilarious!
The art style is very much reminiscent of the Super Nintendo era, and is bright and colorful. Some fans appear to be growing tired of pixel art, but it certainly works in this instance. There are nice subtle animation touches that bring the game alive, such as explosions making the objects in the background shift and move.
Lastly, the music doesn’t stand out or do anything noteworthy, but it does perfectly match the theme without attempting to make itself too noticeable.
Unfortunately for all the praise we can give Bomb Chicken, we cannot overlook its many shortcomings. Not being able to detonate the bombs early, as well as having to move away from the bombs and wait for them to explode, makes the game much slower paced that we’d like it to be. Every button lays an egg. Whilst this does cause simplicity (as well as easy to pick up game mechanics), we also feel as though these buttons could have been used for other things (such as an upgrade to detonate them at will). That being said, there are other mechanics aside from dropping bombs, such as kicking a bomb by running into it.
We noticed that the hitboxes are sometimes off, leading to unfair deaths. Also, being able to die from running into the side of a spike feels unnecessarily frustrating. Game Over screens feel quite pointless as it simply puts you back to the previous checkpoints. You don’t lose the gems that you’ve collected, so putting you back to the start and having to replay the entire level just feels annoyingly tedious.
Boss battles are fantastically epic, but having to restart the boss fight every single time you get hit just once gets old after two or three (or 15) attempts.
And finally, there are some truly HORRENDOUS frame rate dips in the final two levels (the most difficult levels in the entire game) leaving an incredibly bitter taste in the mouth. If we had to guess, we’d say that the game would slow down to approximately five frames per second. Many times did we want to rage quit, and probably would have if not for the purpose of this review. We hope that this gets patched in a future update but at the time of this review, it certainly has put a damper on the experience as a whole.
Final Score 62%
Some of the levels in Bomb Chicken can be surprisingly short, despite how frustrating they may seem. The levels start off simple enough, but be warned that this game becomes SUPER difficult towards the end. Bomb Chicken certainly has a lot of personality and is a solid puzzle platformer at times, but the praise ends there as the game will often make you want to pull your hair out in frustration.
Do you think that we were fair with our Quick Review on Bomb Chicken? Let us know in the Comments section below.