Although hundreds of games make their debut each month, few are exceptional enough to join the canon of classic iPhone games - the Angry Birds and Plants vs Zombies of this world. Playfirst's new puzzle action game, Egg vs Chicken, may well be the latest addition to this elite group.
The game uses fun, cartoonish graphics and a unique combination of 'match three' and tower defence gameplay to create an addictive gaming experience that, while in need of more levels, manages to stand out from the countless other games that hit the App Store each month.
Egg vs Chicken: Gameplay
To win the game, players must defend their pen full of eggs from the hordes of chickens trying to get at them. You must slide matching-coloured eggs to the launch area at the front of their pen to make groups of three, and then flick to shoot the eggs towards the chickens, making them disappear.
This combination of match-three and action gaming is a new twist on the puzzle genre. The pen gets a bit crowded at times, as new eggs pop up to replace the ones you've shot and spare eggs are also collectible outside the pen where the chickens are invading. To make room for eggs of the same colour, tap an odd-coloured egg to delete it.
Meanwhile, after you've collected your eggs and are ready to go on the offensive, there are different strategies to employ. Different chickens have different weaknesses; for instance, the yellow eggs electrocute chickens with metal helmets, but it takes three or four plain white eggs to ward off the chapeau-wearing birds. Additionally, grouping more eggs together makes for a bigger firing squad, and ultimately earns you more points.
Egg vs Chicken: Visuals
The graphics in Egg vs Chicken are fun and cartoonish. The egg/chicken battles take place in several different scenes such as deserts and fields.
The game is played with the phone or iPod in its upright position, rather than widescreen; this gives the necessary extra space for players to see the offending birds approaching, and the game never felt cramped or cluttered. The screen is composed mostly of the action of the game, with only your weapon choices at the top of the screen, your score, and a tiny green bar that tracks your progress, so you know how many more fleets of feathered foes you have to defeat before the round ends.
Based on how well you complete each level, you're awarded a star score. Three stars indicate you performed perfectly, while one or two mark that you completed the level but have room for improvement.
The developer does a fine job of providing incentive for players to go back and try to collect more stars, though, in that you can use them as currency to buy defences and special skills. You can upgrade your eggs so they'll pack more of a punch when they strike, or purchase bombs and land mines to buy you time to organise your eggs when birds attack.
The puzzle of maneuvering the eggs is enjoyable, and my sole complaint about the game is that it needs more levels to provide the playability that keeps me coming back for more. It took me no time at all to earn enough stars to buy out the store, and after only a few days of playing Egg vs Chicken, I succeeded in completing and gaining three stars in the 36 levels the game debuted with.
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