As I booted up Chicken Balls HD for iPad, I thought to myself, “Great. Another shameless Angry Birds ripoff looking to cash in on that game’s success.” After all, the App Store is littered with games trying to ape the style, gameplay, and ultimately the financial success of Angry Birds. And, to be fair, Endloop Systems didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel with Chicken Balls HD.
You’re still launching birds into the air in an attempt to use gravity and physics to your advantage in order to destroy objects and collect points. But Chicken Balls adds enough unique elements to stand apart, however slightly, from the game that was no doubt its inspiration. The result is a fun, albeit familiar game that fans of Angry Birds style games will enjoy.
In Chicken Balls HD, you launch your chickens into the air and attempt to clear the baby-chick-filled bubbles that are scattered around the play field. The first few levels are no doubt designed to give you a feel for the controls and the gravity of the game as you simply toss your chickens at a handful of unobstructed bubbles. But as you move on, more and more elements are thrown into the mix. Of course there are the standard barriers and bricks designed to either simply be broken or used in a domino-like effect. But the most significant objects are eggs. These eggs are placed around the play field, and if you destroy all the eggs on the screen, you are rewarded with “Farmageddon”, where dozens upon dozens of objects will rain from the sky, destroying nearly everything they touch and giving the player tons of points.
As you progress, there will be other objects placed on the screen that act as “bumpers”. Eventually, the game screen begins to resemble a pachinko or a flipper-less pinball machine and skilled players will begin to use these bumpers to their advantage by banking shots in order to score higher.
Chicken Balls HD is a beautifully-designed game with an almost arts-and-crafts appearance. Those familiar with Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii will be familiar with the visual style. Though the game screen eventually becomes littered with items, bumpers, bubbles, and walls, the visuals never seem too busy or distracting, which makes it easy to devise your gameplay strategy in every round.
Bottom Line: In the end, yes, Chicken Balls HD bears more than a passing resemblance to Angry Birds. But the pachinko elements, as well as the “Farmageddon” aspect nevertheless make it an enjoyable game.
Chicken Balls HD is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.1 or later.