You think calling someone a chicken is derogatory? Play Rocketbirds, then think again
Do you ever play an indie game and think to yourself, “This is pretty cool, but it could be something amazing if the developer just spruced it up a bit here and there?” That’s exactly how I felt about Rocketbirds Revolution way back in 2009 – a lovely Flashback-styled platformer that just felt a little too rough around the edges at times to fully enjoy it.
Fortunately, this story has a very happy ending as Ratloop, the team behind the game, clearly knew it was onto something special. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a hugely revamped version of the original, and ticks all of our boxes multiple times over.
You play a commando chicken who is a dab hand with heavy weaponry. He’s been cloned by an evil corporation that plans to use the clones for terrible acts of corruption and violence. In response, our hero grabs his jetpack and blasts off for the secret facility where it’s all going down.
You’ve got a few simple-yet-effective methods for staying alive and dealing out punishment. First and foremost, you’ll want to have your weapon readied at all times, with simple clicks to rapid fire and juggle enemies in the air. Apart from ducking to dodge bullet fire and climbing ledges, this is pretty much all there is to the game.
But wow oh wow, is it a fulfilling experience. First off, it’s one of the most stylish games you’ll play this year, with gorgeous 2D-yet-kinda-3D foregrounds against gorgeously detailed cartoon backdrops. We found ourselves exploring every inch of the world simply to take in everything we possibly could, an action made easier by the game’s superb camera. There’s even support for 3D glasses if you’re into that kind of thing.
The soundtrack contributes quite a bit to this overall feeling of slickness, with a whole album of tracks written specifically for the game — all of which fit the gameplay remarkably well. Even if you don’t like the indie music that band New World Revolution has worked up for the game, it’s hard to deny that it suits the action, rising up whenever you meet enemies, and then dropping back down whenever you slip back into the shadows.
There’s a serious amount of content to play through in Rocketbirds, with plenty of change-ups in scenario and environment along the way, courtesy of a brilliant storyline. The jetpack levels in particular are a huge amount of fun, and we thoroughly enjoyed blasting around, dodging missiles and taking out enemies.
And that’s before you even touch the co-op missions — playable both locally or online. These are missions specifically designed to be played with two players, with puzzles that make use of two heads being better than one.
Honestly, our gripes with Rocketbirds are minor. The controls are still a tiny bit fiddly at times, but still miles better than the original Flash version. Also, we would have liked to be presented with more moments of stealth throughout the game, rather than the shoot-centric angle the development team has taken.
But really, we’re nitpicking. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is brilliant and deserves all of the downloads. ALL of the downloads. If you like platformers – heck, even if you don’t – get this bought, and bask in the wonderful glow of indie gaming at its finest.