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Chicken Wiggle review - A generic 2D platformer with a notable DIY spirit


For: 3DS
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Poultry offering

Product: Chicken Wiggle | Format: 3DS | Genre: Platform | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Chicken Wiggle 3DS, thumbnail 1
Chicken Wiggle isn't interested in why the chicken crossed the road, so much as how.

Did it traverse the gap in a hot air balloon? Jump across using a bridge of invisible blocks? Or maybe it snagged onto the other side using its sidekick worm as a makeshift grappling hook.

All of these transportation methods, and more, make an appearance in Atooi's latest 3DS game - a retro platformer that's not quite as anaemic as it initially seems.

Chickening out

My initial experience with Chicken Wiggle was deeply underwhelming. Playing through its first story stages reveals an inoffensive but bland 2D platformer that could have come from the Amiga era.

The levels are simple, blocky affairs with generic, abstract designs, and a cute but by-the-numbers protagonist.



Meanwhile its perfunctory platforming mechanics are of the pre-Mario and Sonic variety, lacking much in the way of tactile zip.

The one exception to that is the aforementioned worm-lasso move, which can launch your chicken across gaps and up to high places in an instant.

DIY SOS

Standing in isolation, Chicken Wiggle's story mode simply doesn't stand up to top-tier platformers in the 3DS roster. Where it gets a lot more interesting is with its level maker.

Just like in Super Mario Maker, the joy here is in either making your own levels using a simple but powerful creation tool, or else playing the shared efforts of others.

I've never been particularly interested in the design element of these do-it-yourself games, but I had a great deal of fun playing through some of the efforts of my fellow players.

There's just an extra thrill to playing the twisting mazes and spring-filled flights of fantasy of others.

Group effort

The sheer variety of user-built levels on offer is a testament to the tools provided, and it's here that the protagonist's unfocused move set makes perfect sense.

This isn't a hero designed to work in a single platformer, but rather several different ones.



Ultimately, Chicken Wiggle doesn't quite have the tactile pop or the polished structure that you might expect of a Nintendo system-based platformer.

Anyone seeking a high quality story mode should look elsewhere, and we can't overlook the fact that a sizeable portion of the game simply isn't that interesting.

But if you have a love of community-led level-building efforts and the tools that lie behind them, or you found Super Mario Maker 3DS's lack of online level sharing a deal breaker, this could be your ideal DIY platformer.
 
Chicken Wiggle review - A generic 2D platformer with a notable DIY spirit
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 18 August 2017
Chicken Wiggle's traditional platforming components aren't all that great, but its generous level creator makes it an interesting pick for social and DIY gamers
 
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