Another Switch-exclusive game makes the hop to PC today, and it’s one that I’ve been meaning to play for a while. Bomb Chicken is a puzzle platformer from Nitrome about a hen incapable of leaping, but the deeply hazardous ability to lay Bomberman-esque fizzling explosives, elevating herself in the process. The Switch version of the game was well received, unsurprising as Nitrome used to be one of the better, more prolific studios of the Flash-based browser game era. Below, the Switch version launch trailer, because the PC version looks functionally identical.
From what I’ve seen of it, Bomb Chicken works a lot like Bomberman as a 2D side-scroller. You can lay an infinite number of bombs, although the fuse on the first one in a stack determines the lifespan of the pile. Rapid laying lets you climb higher, and laying a short stack and moving to one side creates a shield. Bombs can also be kicked, or used to hold down buttons. There’s a lot you can do with explosives, but your options are limited otherwise. The chicken doesn’t move fast, and doesn’t have any moves beyond awkwardly waddling from side to side and shoving.
There’s a 90s platformer-style attempt at a story here. Something about an ancient cursed temple linked to a fried chicken chain with an addictive blue hot-sauce, but it’s all just an excuse for fun level design and bouncy sprites. No longer constrained to little browser windows, Nitrome’s round, squidgy sprites are charming. Well animated, with lots of expressive squash and stretch effects, and colourful despite its mostly-subterranean environments.
The only real mark against it that I’ve heard is that it’s a purely single-player game, and not massively long. A pity that they don’t explore the idea of competitive Bomberman-but-side-scrolling, but still, focused and self-contained is a niche I can appreciate a lot more these days.
Bomb Chicken is out now on Steam for £10.79/€11.24/$13.49