Crazy Chicken Pirates 3D (3DS eShop) - Review by Andrew
Better known in it's native Germany as Moorhuhn, Crazy Chicken has been with us for some years now and the DS and GBA alone have seen the hapless chicken travelling to Atlantis, collecting treasure with Pharao and racing around the track in not one but two Karting games. 'Pirates' is a little more traditional and takes its theme from the original Moorhuhn game, which was based on a classic arcade shooting gallery. The gaming world has progressed significantly since then, of course, so does this have the makings of an eShop classic?
As with the original game, there's only really a single stage here although rather than taking place in the lush green German countryside you are instead propelled to a beautiful sunny island. This is entirely populated with Crazy Chickens and it's your job to take them out before the 90-second time limit elapses. Fortunately there's a great deal of ways to increase your time and score with bonus items scattered across the terrain. We should point out here that these always appear in the same place so memory is a great advantage here. Amassing over 1500 points will allow you access to a Bonus Round challenging you to sink the Chickens as they approach your ship. Here you are armed with a cannon with the challenge to gage the power and distance before the reach your ship. Tricky stuff indeed.
You'll only require one of the more traditional inputs here, which is the 'L' shoulder button. This controls the actual firing and this, in combination with the stylus, is surprisingly comfortable allowing you to concentrate on your aim and what's going on the screen as apposed to continually checking why the gun isn't firing.
Scrolling your cross hair around the screen is all controlled with your trusty stylus on the touch screen as is reloading your weapon. There is a penalty every time you do this though which does inject an element of strategy into the whole experience.
I've always liked the quirky Chicken design of the Moorhuhn's and this game is crammed with humorous animations and backgrounds. The only problem is, you'll be concentrating so much on actually shooting them so there's a good chance most of the islands features will simply bypass you.
Outside of the Weapon sounds and Chickens (let's say expiring) there's a rather odd 'lounge lizard'/elevator muzak holiday themed soundtrack. If that doesn't make much sense, just give it a listen and you'll instantly see what we mean.
Other than the fact that it's in 3D, there's little to separate this from the (also released) 2D version. Did we mention that it was really cheap?
Once you've played Crazy Chicken Pirates for an hour or so you'll quickly work out just why it's so inexpensive. The game offers little in the way of depth, there's no on-line or Multiplayer challenge and once you have managed to attain a reasonable score, there should be little reason to replay the game. Where it does succeed though is as a 'gaming on the move' title and the simple but engaging gameplay is perfect for commuting should you only have five or ten minutes to spare. For those reasons alone, it's perfectly suited to a download title, sitting on your 3DS's memory should you wish to relieve some stress as spend some time with the Crazy Chickens.
Pro: Incredibly Cheap, Very Simple Gameplay, Charming Cartoon Visuals.
Con: Short, Repetitive Gameplay.
Final score: 6