Given that Android has the largest market share of any smartphone platform, underdog competitor Windows Phone has far fewer exclusive games worth noting. Windows Phone’s precious few exclusive Xbox-branded games often jump ship to other platforms – just look at Wordament and Kinectimals.
Now Chickens Can’t Fly from British developer Amused Sloth – long considered one of the best Windows Phone exclusives – has debuted on Android as well. At $1.99, it’s quite a steal.
Chickens can dream
In Chickens Can’t Fly, you play as a chicken who must navigate a variety of obstacles courses. The chicken is always falling downward, making for a sort of reverse Doodle Jump. Tilting the device left and right steers the avian hero.
Chicken literally can’t stop falling, but you can at least slow him down in a couple of ways: touching walls cause shim to slide, while tapping the screen flaps his wings. Still, he continually gains speed the longer he stays alive, so even with those moves at your disposal, things get pretty hectic. Thankfully his speed resets whenever you pass a checkpoint.
Cold, cruel science
The game’s 80+ experiments (levels) are divided up into six labs: Hatchery (tutorial levels), Butchery, Cemetery, Military, Physics, and Aquarium.
These labs are more than just different backgrounds. Each one has unique powerups, powerdowns, and obstacles, making for a nice bit of variety. New items are usually introduced in their own specific experiment, with creative titles like “Does Chicken like 8-bit?” which involves the Pixelizer item. This teaches players what the items do organically.
Experiments can present a variety of different goals. Sometimes Chicken just needs to survive until the end. Other times he’s fighting against time or has to pick up a certain number of items by the time he reaches the end of the level. If you reach the bottom without meeting the experiment’s criteria, you fail and have to retry it.
Once you’ve completed a certain number of experiments within a lab, you’ll unlock that lab’s Survival mode. Rather than ending after a certain number of checkpoints, Survival is made up of endless checkpoints, so it lasts as long as you can stay alive. Passing checkpoints gives Chicken an extra life, so skilled players can potentially play for quite a while.
Weekly Challenges are specific Survival levels that change every week. This mode has its own global leaderboard, so players can compete against each other for high scores.
Chickens Can’t Fly packs a ton of content for $1.99. It also offers a few In-App Purchases, including Knight, Vampire, and Alien skins for 99 cents each. The game already includes three skins automatically: naked, Girlie, and Diver.
Of course, players who really dig the game are going to want more levels. The iOS version already offers an extra Dojo lab for a $1.99 IAP. The Dojo will come to Android soon as well.
Tastes like chicken
Chickens Can’t Fly is just as engaging now as when it debuted on Windows Phone last year. More so, in fact, thanks to some minor balance tweaks and fixes. Amused Sloth’s game features a charming art style, quirky sense of humor, and catchy music to boot.
For now, the Android version only has local Achievements. But the developer promises Google Play Achievements and Leaderboards in the near future. The included non-Google Global Leaderboard and dozens of experiments should keep players busy till then!