Monday 4 January 2016

Alfred Chicken (NES review)

Developer: Twilight Games
Publisher: Mindscape Inc.
Released: 1993

Alfred Chicken is an action-platformer that was also released on the Amiga, Amiga CD32 and Game Boy.

You play as Alfred who's attempting to rescue his friends and stop the evil Meka-Chickens from using them in their cloning experiments. There's five levels and the objective in each is to peck all the balloons that are scattered around. There's also diamonds and other items to collect that can earn you extra lives as well as a Can O Worms (destroys monsters by circling around you) and a Present (makes you temporarily invincible). Your main method of attack is a dive bomb which is performed by jumping and then pressing Down; when pressed alone the latter pecks balloons, the A button jumps and makes you float, while the B button is used for any weapons you collect such as bombs and bullets. Apart from hunting for balloons the gameplay involves jumping on moving platforms, bouncing off springs to reach higher ledges and swimming underwater. The level design is atrocious with mundane environments covered in children's toy blocks, or a mishmash of wood pieces held together with nails! There's nothing interesting about the puzzles either as they usually involve pushing a button in one room to activate platform blocks in another. There's also three Meka-Chicken boss battles where you hop into a Meka-Buster Ship for some shooting action! In theory it sounds awesome but every boss is the same and they all have boring, predictable patterns. The game is insultingly easy and poses little challenge; it's also far too short and can be completed in around 30 minutes. There's only one music track which sounds like an irritating TV theme-tune and it quickly gets on your nerves!
Alfred Chicken is a lacklustre title with tedious level design, little variety and sub-standard boss battles. In reality it's full of half-baked ideas and the fact that there's only five short levels screams of lazy game development.

Random trivia: A sequel called Super Alfred Chicken was released on the Super Nintendo in 1994.

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