A puzzle game starring cute little birds where the goal is to earn three stars in each level. Hmmmm, where have we seen that before? Despite its less than original premise, Hungry Chicks actually has a somewhat unique gameplay mechanic that has you controlling multiple birds in an attempt to collect worms and feed your chicks. It’s frantic and at times rather fun, but the game is ultimately let down by less than ideal controls.
Each level in Hungry Chicks, of which there are 36, has three things: a bird (or two), a nest full of chicks (or two), and some worms. The goal is to collect all of the worms to feed your chicks. Naturally, it’s not as easy as it sounds. First off, very quickly you’ll be forced to deal with multiple birds differentiated by color, each of which has its own nest. So the purple bird may have two chicks to feed, while the yellow bird only has one. You’ll need to ensure that each bird gathers the right number of worms to feed its chicks before returning to the nest.
And there’s the usual assortment of hazards to avoid. Everything from electric barriers and spiked walls to shifting and rotating platforms. But more than the obstacles, what you’ll really need to deal with is the way the game controls.
Spikes, spikes, everywhere.
In order to control your bird in Hungry Chicks you tap the screen near it, which propels it in the opposite direction. So, for instance, if you tap just below the bird, it will jump up into the air. It takes a bit of getting used to, but isn’t overly complicated. The problem is that it also isn’t very precise. Navigating through more tricky scenarios becomes more difficult than it needs to be simply because you don’t have enough control over your bird. It can become especially frustrating when you’re dealing with multiple birds at the same time.
While often frustrating, the side benefit of this control scheme is that it adds a layer of tension to the experience. Once you make your first move in a level your bird essentially keeps moving, which creates situations where you’re forced to tap continuously to keep the bird afloat and away from harm. But these moments of excitement are far too brief
Aside from these tense moments though, Hungry Chicks is just a bit too formulaic. From the avian theme to the standard three-star level progression, it’s clearly attempting to emulate games like Angry Birds and Air Penguin, but thanks largely to the imprecise controls, it doesn’t reach the same level of sublime addictiveness as the games it attempts to emulate.