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Bomb Chicken - a Nitrome game for Steam and Nintendo Switch

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Mar 16, 2017 at 8:39 PM
Beakface
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#1
Nitrome said:
Which came first the chicken or the bomb?

Nitrome is back with another object-creating bird game, this time about a chicken making bombs to solve puzzles and get around places. The bombs allow you to reach higher places, take out enemies and just let everything satisfyingly explode.

Apparently this one's a lot further into development than Flightless was, so here's to hoping it will end up being a complete game. It still has yet to be greenlit (at the time of making this thread). The Steam page can be found here.

This looks like it'll be a nice change from all the mobile games Nitrome has been making recently. I'm definitely looking forward to this one.
 
Mar 20, 2018 at 5:40 PM
Beakface
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#2
Time to give this thread a nice little relevant bump.


They’re finally making it on Switch. This makes me really happy even if I don’t own a Switch. :confused:

Edit: haha broken links
 
Jul 12, 2018 at 4:54 PM
Beakface
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#3
Aw yeah it's out

(For Switch)


Links may be broken; check the video.

Not much word on the Steam version yet, unfortunately. Come on, Nitrome! Don't let this be another Flightless.
 
Sep 25, 2018 at 9:14 PM
Tommy Thunder
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#4
HEY IT TOOK ME A COUPLE OF MONTHS BUT I FINALLY WROTE A LONG ASS REVIEW ON THIS GAME
One of my main issues with the game are the challenges, but mostly just the ones in the second half of the game. Some of the enemies, particularly the cannons that shoot a slow, electric shot at you, are irritating to deal with. A good example of this is level 27... the level is filled with nothing but these guys. To be specific, the second room in this level is a vertical section where you need to descend the room by breaking the tiles below you with bombs while a ton of cannons to the left and right of you are shooting. This section is super annoying to me. I've played it multiple times, too -- once during my first playthrough and another when I was collecting the gems I missed -- and despite my best efforts, I just couldn't come up with a consistent way to pass this section. This is primarily a puzzle game with heavy platforming elements, so I tried to think of clever ways to use my bombs to pass the challenge, but given how many cannons there, how slow their projectiles are, and how they always disrupt your bombs at the worst possible times, it always just felt like I had to get really lucky with the timing of it to finally progress.

There is also this blue goop on some surfaces that creates a deadly shock wave whenever your bombs explode on it. On its own I don't think this is such a bad gimmick; it can really make you think about managing the quantity of your bombs wisely instead of placing them everywhere. However, when used in tandem with other elements (such as several of the bouncing skull head enemies and stationary spikes), it can easily devolve into a risk-prone guessing game of how to maneuver out of the way of all the junk about to collide with you. These elements definitely don't ruin the game, and I can certainly see others tolerating them more than myself, but to me they are flaws that rear their ugly head too frequently in the later sections of the game.

This brings up another issue I have with the game. While the levels themselves are hit-or-miss past the halfway point, I feel like the worst issues with the level design are compounded by the fundamental mechanics of the game. The most noticeable of these mechanics is the life system. You have a set amount of attempts to beat the level in before you get a Game Over and have to restart from the beginning, and you can increase the amount of attempts you get with the gems that you collect throughout the stages. A life system like this is fine on the surface, but I feel like it's entirely unnecessary in this type of game. A comparison I'd like to make is with Nitrome's other games. Most of their mobile games do not have a life counter, and I think they work better because of this. I find that Nitrome games normally have a fun, simple gimmick with clever puzzles and challenges designed around it. By adding a penalty for dying too many times, I felt less inclined to try a fun, yet risky solution to any given challenge and instead opted for more safe and predictable options. I like being able to experiment without being punished unnecessarily for it. The lives aren't a huge issue in the grand scheme of things, especially because they're at least nice enough to let you keep the gems you've collected even if you get a Game Over, but I think they only serve to neuter my creativity and to drag out the game without actually making the game more difficult in a productive way.

In addition, the bomb mechanics can be somewhat difficult to wrap your head around due to how many rules you have to remember. First of all, you can get hit by your own bombs. This is fine on its own, but the blast radius requires a bit of experimentation to fully understand. Each bomb's explosion visually appears to have a large radius, and this is reinforced by the generous range in which it'll defeat enemies and break terrain. However, you yourself can get rather close to it, with only a couple of pixels of separation being enough to remain safe. I'll admit that this is a fair enough way to approach the way the explosion works, but it's not visually clear your first time playing, and I doubt that most players would ever come to that conclusion without spending a few minutes to really test that out. Knowing where you're safe and how close you need to be to bomb the enemies is essential in the more difficult parts of the game, so it's not something you can play ignorant with. Something that I didn't even notice until later was that an exploding bomb can set off other bombs right away. It sounds like it makes sense, but all it really served to do was create more frustrating moments for me when I was trying to tower my way up to another platform. Plus, some enemies and projectiles will bounce off your bombs, while others will cause them to explode immediately, the latter of which was the bane of my existence in many sections, and the former of which just served to confuse me with the latter!

Despite these problems, the remainder of the game has a good sense of design. The secrets are a lot of fun to discover. The bosses were creative and were loads of fun. Blasting enemies and solving puzzles in the main parts of the game is quite satisfying.

In regards to the presentation of the game, it's a good looking game. I never had the opportunity to try it out on a TV screen, only the Switch's handheld screen, but I was still impressed by the quality of the pixel art and various particle effects. One downside, however, is the lack of variety. For the most part, the aesthetics can be described mostly as an ancient temple overtaken by vegetation and forestry with the occassional mechanical bits. It does mix things up on occasion, such as the one level with the BFC store or how the later levels add lava and the blue goop to the mix, but having 29 levels with mostly the same look to them makes it very difficult to differentiate any of them from each other.

The music is just... kind of there. A lot of Nitrome's music is hit-or-miss for me; my favorite tracks mostly come from Leap Day, and I think their style doesn't typically hook me in as easily. My problem with this soundtrack is that it goes for a very atmospheric vibe, in that it's not even music you could hum to yourself (even the Nitrome tracks that I don't like as much are structured enough for that). And hey, I'm sure that's the kind of mood they were going for, but I'm not a fan of it. I played 90% of the game with other music playing in the background.

The game is pretty polished as a whole. There were a couple of glitches I encountered, but they were mostly just fun oddities that I never came across more than once. The physics are spot-on and it controls without a hitch. It's quite entertaining to just walk around, bounce off of enemies, and lay a bunch of bombs everywhere. The fundamentals are just plain fun. A super nice little touch (that people who play it on Steam when it releases there unfortunately won't be able to experience) is the HD rumble on the Switch joycons. Any time a bomb explodes, your controller will rumble, but it depends on the position and distance of the bomb. Having a faint rumble on your left joycon from a bomb that you set on the other side of the screen is quite wonderful.
I guess given my accounts of the game, it seems like I was mostly mixed on it, but I really did enjoy my time with it and would say my experience was good overall. It's a satisfying puzzle platformer that I would recommend to those who enjoy games in that genre. A big sticking point, however, is the price. When I bought the game, it was $15. I don't know if I would recommend it at that price. I say wait for it to go on sale if you're interested.
 
Mar 19, 2019 at 9:27 AM
Beakface
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#5
A limited run physical release on both Switch and PS4? Count me in - for the PS4 version, at least! :p

From the sounds of it, $15 was already kind of pricey for some, and this of course is basically just double the price, but...as a hardcore Nitromian who actually owns a PS4, I have to try Bomb Chicken. March 29 can't come soon enough.

Also a peek into their Twitter replies gives the implication that the PC version is coming out soon, but who knows what "soon" means. At least these physical releases have actual dates. Who knows; I'll probably end up getting both versions if possible.
 
Apr 17, 2019 at 5:42 AM
Tommy Thunder
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#6
I think I will snipe RSK and deliver the news myself. ;) Bomb Chicken is now on Steam, and available at a discounted price until April 23rd. :o Interestingly enough, the Steam page for the game goes into a bit of lore that was not available on the Switch release... so if you haven't delved into the secrets of Blue Fried Chicken, maybe you will be enticed to now!!! As far as I know, nothing has changed with this version of the game other than achievements (which would have been kind of cool to have I guess but I'm not shelling out $10+ just to play the game again). You also won't have the advantage of being able to play with the HD rumble of the Switch's joycons, but that's such a minute difference that it's not really even worth making a fuss over (even though feeling those bombs explode with different intensities was super cool).
 
Apr 22, 2019 at 8:51 AM
Beakface
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#7
I'm just glad someone on these forums cares about Bomb Chicken as much or more than me. :awesomeface:

I was going to make that response earlier, but I also wanted to include my thoughts on the game as well. I went and bought the game as soon as I heard it was purchasable on Steam. I left a review of it on Steam, so you can read it here if you really want. Despite its length, I don't think I quite captured my thoughts quite thoroughly. As far as Nitrome games go, this one did feel very "Nitrome" - I want to say almost like a Toxic 2, in the sense that there's a ton of secrets and some of the more challenging parts involve collecting all the pickups or figuring out how to do the puzzles within those secrets. It also did feel reminiscent of Flightless, their first attempt at Steam that made it to a browser demo, but got shelved before it could be fully released. I could see a lot of elements that feel like they did take bits from Flightless to use in Bomb Chicken. Even though these elements were used well, it did make me long for a full build of Flightless.

Another Nitrome game that came to mind for me when playing Bomb Chicken was Rust Bucket, in that a single mechanic or item is utilized in many different ways. I like how the bombs are not only your typical destructive weapon, but also your shield, and sometimes how you place them or when you push them is crucial to solving certain puzzles. I dunno; this reminded me of those levels in Rust Bucket where there's a key you use to unlock doors, but you also use that key as a shield to protect you from hazards as you're making it towards the door. I think the bomb mechanic is more well thought out, though, given that the extra challenge to using the bomb as a shield, for example, is that you have to be careful when it explodes.

The more I sit on the game having completed it a few days ago, the more of a positive impression it is leaving on me. I agree with Tommy in that the most frustrating part was level 27, particularly the second room with all those vertically lined cannons. It felt like the way to beat it was very inconsistent - my strategy was to make a stack of bombs, wait for the cannons to shoot, then fall off to one side so that their bullets hit my bombs but they didn't shoot me in the process. This strategy worked wonders sometimes - I would pass through that entire room without losing a single heart of health. Other times, it felt like the cannon balls were phasing through my bombs, or maybe they all weren't hitting my bomb stack at the same time, so I would keep dying and leave that room with 2 or 3 hearts remaining.

And the last room of level 27? Also just equally, if not more frustrating, because it's so close to the end. Combine the puzzle element with figuring out which buttons to press with having to dodge those same cannons rotating around you along with lava balls popping out of the ground to bust your bombs and get in your way and it was easy to lose all remaining lives I had in that part, too.

The more I think about it, I guess there was a lot of precise timing involved. My problem with level 27, at first, was that I kept moving too quickly to dodge the cannon balls. But I learned that sometimes knowing when to hesitate actually helped me to get through the more difficult sections. I dunno; maybe that will not be the case once I start playing the physical PS4 version and then I'll have to rethink my strategy. :p

I also wanted to comment about the music because I do think it works well for the game, but I do echo the sentiment that it is really more atmospheric than it is catchy or "hummable". The tone of the tracks was a lot more serious than some of their other games, and I think this makes sense given the way the game looks and how it's presented in terms of its lore and stuff. It was clear Nitrome was going for something a lot more darker and ominous, and having the music match that really made the experience come together, perhaps at the expense of not being a soundtrack that could exist outside of the game.

One detail I did enjoy regarding the music is that the levels are basically divided into three sets (book-ended by their bosses), with a different music track in each set. Each track has two iterations - one that is intense with lots of strings and additional instruments and percussion, but the other track has those elements removed, so you only hear the background accompaniment. It's really cool to hear how the strings change the feeling of the music, and this is very evident in the second set - the one with the jungle vegetation. When you hear the strings kick in, the intensity rises, and I can just tell, from the music, that something's about to go down.

Oh yeah, the hit detection was also frustrating to understand in the game. That bomb's detonation graphic is a bit bigger than where it'll actually hit you, I'm almost certain. Many of my deaths from earlier to mid levels came from not quite understanding how close I could get to my bombs before I would get hit.
 
Jun 25, 2019 at 11:02 PM
Beakface
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#8
Bomb Chicken is 40% off on Steam! (up until July 9)

Also, this is happened like a month ago, but I thought it'd be worth sharing the physical PS4 version I got a while back, along with the pins which I still don't know what I'm going to do with...




(don't know why it rotates the second pic oh well)
 
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