Review: Crazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure (Nintendo DS)

pharoahCrazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure
Developer: MumboJumbo
Publisher: MumboJumbo
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 06/11/09

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. Sometimes, I have been known to judge a game by it’s cover. Heck, as a child I picked a copy of Star Soldier over Mega Man because of the cover. I did not judge this game by it’s cover. I really did not base my initial feelings towards Crazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure (CC:TPT) on the title. No, I had a bad attitude game towards this game based on it’s… continent.

There are things that a game reviewer should not admit, but I have to admit this: I have never liked a European game. Never. No James Pond, no Rare titles, no nothing. I even hate Lemmings. Reviewers generally do not admit being biased for or against a whole landmass, but I have to be up front about this. Generally, if a game is Japanese, I’ll give it more benefit of the doubt than an American made one. What does any of this have to do with a puzzle game about a chicken? The thing is, I had every reason to hate this game, but I do not. I kinda like it.

Crazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure is a pretty straightforward game. If you ever played Bejeweled or Zoo Keeper or Jewel Quest: Expeditions, you know the basic idea. A board is full of shapes. Those shapes can be swapped in place with one adjacent shape. Match up three or more of the same shape and they disappear. Much like Jewel Quest, there are blacked out parts of the board to be cleared. While simpler than these games, CC: TPT manages to execute this sort of game play well enough.

I have to admit, had this been the extent of the game, I would have had little taste for it. The cool part is that there are five minigames on top of the Match 3. Flight to Egypt, a pretty rudimentary side scrolling shooter, is oddly compelling. Not hard or entertaining, just mystifying. It is like the exact opposite of the type of shooters I like. It was like Bullet Heaven. Save Habib is a strange side game which involves clicking on a bag of powder, clicking on a stack of cannonballs, aiming the cannon, then clicking the cannon to fire. Just make sure that you do not shoot poor Habib! Spot the Mistake is just like the magazine game of the same name, with the added bonus of making me want to break my DS over my knee, Bo Jackson style. The worst of the games, by far. Smack the Mummy is a sort of Whack A Mole, with a little strategy. Number Blocks is a math game. I am sure you can imagine how fun that is.

All of that being said, I kept playing this game. Was it my love for the strange CG chicken? Was it the engrossing story about treasure hunting? Was it masochism? I really cannot tell.

Graphically, Crazy Chicken does what it should. It is very workmanlike. The whole game has a shiny, CG look, sort of like a DS version of an old XBOX game. The character design, known as Moorhuhn in Germany, is oddly likable. I did notice some nice animation in Flight to Egypt.

The sounds of this game were not so good. I spent as little time as possible with the volume above zero. This is not a real issue, since I have never liked a DS game’s music. Ever. The beauty of handheld games is not in the audio, you know?

At the end of the day the question is: Is Crazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure worth your time? If you like chickens more than the average person, enjoy solid, if not spectacular games, and are not looking for much from a game, then give this one a shot.

The Scores
Story/Modes: Good
Graphics: Decent
Sound: Bad
Control and Gameplay: Decent
Replayability: Decent
Balance: Decent
Originality: Mediocre
Addictiveness: Decent
Appeal Factor: Decent
Miscellaneous: Decent

FINAL SCORE: DECENT GAME!

Short Attention Span Summary
Moorhuhn is coming to take your soul, one game at a time! Seriously, though, Crazy Chicken: The Pharaoh’s Treasure is a decent little game, great for kids and non-gamers, and a fun palate cleanser between higher profile titles. Not perfect, but it does what it does well enough to warrant a look.

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