Physics-based bird-busting in Chicken Raid Begins

Chicken Raid Begins is a new release from German outfit FDG Entertainment. It’s available now as a free app for both iPhone and iPad and is effectively a “demo” version of the company’s July release Chicken Raid.

Chicken Raid Begins is essentially a physics-based puzzle game. It initially appears to be somewhat similar to Rovio’s smash hit Angry Birds, but in practice it is a little different and a great deal simpler.

Chickens and eggs sit atop or underneath various precarious structures, and in order to pass each level, the player must destroy all of them. Different types of chickens must be destroyed in different ways — red chickens, for example, may only be defeated by dropping something on their head, while blue chickens will only be destroyed by falling from a distance.

In order to defeat the chickens, the player must tap on the various items around the level to break them. Different materials react differently when tapped — wood gets “chopped” at the point where the player taps, while glass simply smashes, for example. The aim of each level is to set up an efficient chain reaction that destroys as many chickens and eggs as quickly as possible and with as few taps as possible. Upon the successful destruction of all the birds and their unborn young, the player is given a score according to their performance — the more collateral damage they inflicted on the rest of the level, the higher their score, and the fewer taps used, the higher their score. This score is then converted into the usual “three star” rating system, and stars may subsequently be used to unlock bonus content such as comics — though this “Begins” version only includes a single unlockable item.

Players may also uncover “treasure” items in various levels, which allow them to collect coins. These may subsequently be used to purchase special weapons to clear levels, effectively allowing the player to “cheat.” There is no means of acquiring these coins via in-app purchase, however, so the player does have to earn them in the first place rather than “pay to win.”

Chicken Raid Begins is a solid physics puzzler. The controls are simple to understand, though the physics model occasionally suffers from the same problem as Angry Birds — at times, objects can fall atop a chicken or egg and fail to destroy it for no apparent reason, making a level impossible to complete. This flaw aside — which is seemingly endemic to the entire genre and certainly hasn’t hurt Angry Birds’ popularity — Chicken Raid Begins is a good introduction to the game and provides a generous enough amount of content to satisfy those just looking for a quick game to play while leaving more dedicated players wanting more. While its core mechanics aren’t anything new or particularly special, it’s an entertaining little game that those looking for an idle diversion will likely appreciate.

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