chick chick BOOM first hatched onto the Internet as part of an Easter promotion in 2007, in the form of a Flash game sponsored by Nintendo of Europe. Fast forward a few years and a refined version has been created especially for WiiWare. Has the game improved enough to make a scramble for your Nintendo Points, or is this a rotten egg past its sell by date?
On a play area divided into two by a fence, players take control of a team of five of the titular chicks in the cutest game of gang warfare ever. The orb-like poultry will bounce around their side of the battlefield as innocent as you like but, with your help, they’d like to do nothing less than obliterate their rivals, pecking away at their health bars until they perish; the team with no chicks left standing/hopping loses. Thankfully, chick chick BOOM has the gameplay to back up its beautiful cartoon visuals, and the gameplay is almost as infectious as the game’s title.
The chicken teams take turns to launch assaults on each other using a small number of weapons that are always available - a bomb, a Piranha Plant-like carnivorous flower, or a giant weight. Upon clicking on the desired assault option, a small dot-to-dot will appear of the item in question, which players must quickly sweep around using the Wii Remote pointer; not quite as easy as it sounds, which is for the best really or things would be all too simple! The faster you connect the dots, the more likely it is you’ll be able to power your attack up into something fearsome. Not very fast at all and you’ll get the standard attack, but maintain a steady hand and whip around it accurately and one of two coloured targets will begin to circle behind and in front of the completed dot-to-dot - either green alone, or red and green if you’ve been particularly swift. With a point of the Remote and a click of the B trigger, hitting either colour on the target will enable you to strike your foes harder - though you could still miss and end up with the weakest level of attack. For example, a standard bomb attack will simply explode upon being hurled over the fence, whereas a bomb imbued with the power of a green target will leave an acidic patch that continues to damage foes as they bob about, or a red bomb, the most powerful, will scatter multiple explosives.
Of course, neither side is completely at the mercy of the assaults. Barriers and other deterrents can be drawn using the cursor and a limited amount of ‘ink’. If a bomb is sent your way, draw a quick line or curve near it to contain the blast. A plant? Draw a vertical stick over it for it to grow up and away from your tasty chicks, ivy-style. Weights are dealt with by drawing a horizontal line to catch them, and other special weapons are handled in similar fashions. The effectiveness of these defences depends on how strong the attack strike was in the first place, and must be placed at just the right moment to prevent damage, however. If you’re feeling extra cruel, you can also interrupt your opponent’s defensive drawings with lines of your own...
Time is of the essence when playing chick chick BOOM, as all rounds come with a limit in which to attack - though these limits are fairly generous, which means that, even if you’re slow with the cursor, no player should have any issue in taking a turn. As the standard turns are going on, however, there are also other distractions which can easily sway the tide in the favour of either side. Corn Cob Man will stomp around in the background occasionally - his arrival announced by an adorable, gleeful chorus - and can be shot at frantically with the cursor to thieve as many delicious kernels from his body as possible. Each hit provides a consumable nugget to the side that fired upon him, littering the floors for much-needed health replenishment as the battle rages on. Pinatas will drop down semi-regularly, balancing precariously on the fence until they are hit, sending them tumbling into the territory of the fastest shooter; except, until it touches the ground, it’s fair game to everybody, leading to frenzied mid-air firing and impromptu interludes of tennis-like rallies. When the bundle does touch down, it unveils benefits for your chicks, like a nurse’s head dress to gift one bird with the power to heal team mates as they tumble past each other, or a construction helmet to lessen the damage that they take.
Each different stage - such as a ship, or a haunted graveyard - also plays host to an environmental weapon that appears in the arena at random. A large icon, like those of your weapons, will appear, and clicking this will bring up the familiar dot-to-dot sequence. While they act like the regular weapons in their implementation, these attacks have far more damage potential and can be big game changers. Ghosts, for example, can at least scare the health out of opponents, but fully charged red ghouls might also give some of that HP back to your own chickadees; on the simpler end of the spectrum, a lightning blast from a storm cloud could burn the feathers off your rivals. That is, if you time it correctly...as you might find yourself the victim of your own electric shock if you wait too long and the cloud floats too far in your direction!
chick chick BOOM is primarily a multiplayer title and, though it is still quite fun to bash away at the CPU on your lonesome, the most enjoyment will be garnered with a few friends, as matches tend to end up a bit same-y when played against artificial intelligence due to the small number of weapons. Up to four players can join in, two per team, and it’s undoubtedly a better game with banter and friendly - or not so friendly - out-of-game jostling in place. Sadly there is no online multiplayer, but if your mates aren’t available you can take on the computer through a number of modes: a straightforward battle, a ‘best of’ match won by claiming victory in the majority of rounds, a timed mode that awards victory to the team that took the least/caused the most damage, or a gauntlet wherein the opponent’s chicks keep getting replaced while you hold them off for as long as you can.
Simplistic, addictive gameplay made tougher by reliance on quick reflexes and good timing.
Cute, clean Flash-style presentation with plenty of personality.
Charming sound effects and voice work. The use of the Wii Remote speaker, clicking as you join touch each dot when preparing your weapon, is a great touch.
Excellent for multiplayer, pretty fun for single player. Unlockables will keep you coming back.
Whether you want a quick blast or are wanting to let off some serious steam in the direction of some cute little chickens, chick chick BOOM is a fantastic addition to WiiWare, though should be mainly viewed as a multiplayer game. Its addictiveness is in its simplicity, and it’s quite likely that you’ll come back for ‘one more go’ again and again.