In a nutshell, Chicken Range is like a modern take on Nintendo’s classic arcade shooter Duck Hunt. It sees you blasting fowl out of the sky and also, because chickens can’t fly, off the ground.
These chickens come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and so do the guns you shoot them with. Even the style of shooting varies depending on which mode you go for.
This brief guide will take you through all the main elements of Chicken Range so that you can clear all 15 stages of those pesky chickens and get on with your happy, chicken-free lifestyle.
Each stage in Chicken Range sees you picking off chickens for as long as you can. These curiously blank, manifestly evil birds arrive from the left and the right of the screen, intermittently hurling eggs towards you. Whenever an egg is hurled, it splats on the lens and obscures a fraction of your view.
The playing area is double the width of the screen, so that you have to keep swivelling left and right to make sure you’re catching the chickens as soon as you possibly can to prevent them from throwing too many eggs at you.
To give you a bit of breathing room, you get to take a can of cleaning fluid into each round. When the screen starts getting crowded, you can use this to remove the yoke and start afresh.
But no matter how quickly and efficiently you pick the chickens off, every turn is doomed to end in failure, with your entire screen covered with yellow splats.
Then your points are tallied. Your total score is based on three different metrics: the number and type of chickens you kill, how accurate your shooting was, and how long you lasted. Your goal in each stage is to hit 15,000 points, which unlocks the next stage.
The stages themselves have no material impact, and are purely cosmetic. They each contain their own configuration of chicken types, though, and as you unlock them and work your way through the campaign you’ll unlock new chickens and new guns. More on that later.
You take three guns into each game, from an eventual choice of eight, and an ammo crate appears at some point during the round if you last long enough.
There are four shooting modes in Chicken Range – three if you don’t have the bundled gun peripheral, which we’ll assume you don’t. (The controls are pretty self-explanatory if you do).
The default control scheme sees you tilting your Switch in portable mode, or your controller in console mode, to move your crosshairs. If you’ve ever played Breath of the Wild, it’s exactly like aiming your bow and arrow in that.
To pan left and right you use the L stick, and you can fire with either A or ZR. The shoulder buttons let you cycle through your weapons.
The second control mode is touch. This is by far the easiest, as it simply entails tapping on chickens to shoot them. It’s worth noting, however, that holding your finger down on the screen doesn’t have the same effect as holding down a button, so you’ll need to tap-tap-tap whether you’re using a pistol or an automatic rifle.
Finally there’s L stick targeting, which sees you using the L stick both to move your crosshairs and to swivel your viewpoint. You can adjust the target speed in L stick mode and tilt mode.
In the split-screen co-op multiplayer mode, only L stick and tilt are available.
You’ll come across a variety of chickens in Chicken Range. The basic chicken unit is a white bird with a red crest that you can take out pretty easily. The first stage contains these flightless birds exclusively.
Then you’ve got chickens in riot gear, which take more shots to kill. These appear in stage two.
Stage three is set in the sky, and so you’ll meet the helicopter chickens (plus some flightless ones, which can walk on clouds apparently).
In the next stage you’ll meet riot shield chickens, and then ninja chickens, which are tough and fast-moving. A couple of stages later the game introduces robot chickens, which lurch up and down on telescopic legs, making them harder to hit.
Then come the tanks, which are naturally pretty deadly and difficult to destroy. And after the tanks come the rocket chickens, which fly along in bubble-like shields that you need to chip away before you can get at the chickens themselves.
Finally, you’ll come up against chickens in concrete bunkers later in the game, and these take the most bullets, rockets, or whatever you can throw at them.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that the difficulty doesn’t necessarily increase in a linear way in Chicken Range. The same chicken types appear over and over in different combinations, and quite often you’ll find that your opponents in one stage are easier than they were in the last – particularly as you unlock more powerful weapons.
You start off with three weapons in Chicken Range: a Baretta pistol, a Colt 357, and an AK47. Later you’ll unlock an HK MP5 submachine gun, an Uzi 9mm, a rocket launcher, an alien ray gun, and a flamethrower.
Each weapon has three characteristics: rounds, damage, and speed. The Baretta, the weakest of the weapons, inflicts a mere 25 damage, but it comes with 500 rounds. The Colt, meanwhile, is twice as powerful, half as fast, and comes with half as many bullets.
Just as the chickens and stages don’t necessarily get tougher in a linear fashion, the guns don’t get better. For instance, the Uzi only does 15 damage, making it the weakest of all the guns. The fact that it comes with a thousand rounds doesn’t really help.
The final two weapons – the laser gun and the flamethrower – both come with 2000 rounds and a massive 1200 speed rating, but they’re still not great. It’s all about the damage, which is why the best loadout for every round is a Colt, an rocket launcher (2000 damage, but only 15 rounds), and an AK47 for backup.
Don’t forget to try out Chicken Range’s Bonus Game, which sees you tapping to keep a chicken in the air and out of the way of the fences that keep scrolling into the screen. Remember Flappy Bird? It’s like that.
Use these tips for yourself now by checking out Chicken Range on the Switch.