Saturday, September 29

Review: Chicken Assassin - Reloaded [Nintendo Switch eShop]

For the uninitiated, the “clicker” genre had quite a run a little while back in the PC space, and though they’ll still show up periodically it’s also one that is past its peak. Popular mainly for how simple they are, and somewhat relaxing in an odd way, the idea is generally just to repeatedly click on monsters, or whatever you’re facing, until you defeat them. The more you click, the more you advance, the better gear or perks you get, and that opens the door to more clicking… just maybe on newer and cooler things. While Chicken Assassin: Reloaded may, on the surface, look like a shooter or an action game it represents the first title on the Switch I’ve played that has tried to make this formula work.

Given that there’s pretty well no major instruction or background provided within the game I actually struggled for a bit at first trying to understand what I was even doing. In general, with the gameplay here, for what it is, if you’re struggling you’re thinking too hard though. All there is to it is to move your reticle around to point at enemies and then you simply mash away at your A button until you either knock your enemies out or you end up losing. That will return you to the main menu where you can work on upgrading your stats and abilities, changing his appearance as you unlock outfit elements, and change up your gear. Then you’ll be right back in the action, mashing your button into oblivion yet again.

To some degree there’s an almost tranquil quality to these sorts of games as they require next to no thinking or even skill. While I can’t imagine banging in the same spot on your touchscreen would have been a great idea the lack of support for using touch controls, combined with the pretty small buttons on the joycon, make playing in handheld mode a bit impractical. Even with a Pro Controller after a while I started to have some small concerns about wearing out the button from playing this excessively. The unfortunate thing is that the rewards are so slow in coming when you mix that with the general lack of skill or structure here it really falls apart as a compelling experience. While there aren’t technical flaws per se with Chicken Assassin: Reloaded I can’t say it makes a lot of sense on this platform and the general novelty of the genre it represents I think has passed its prime as well.

Score: 4.5

  • Pretty easy to “play” distractedly while doing other things
  • The lack of skill required could possibly make it feel rewarding as you unlock new looks and skills
  • In terms of presentation it manages to try to make it all more exciting than it is

  • Short of playing on a Pro Controller, with its larger buttons, I don’t think long-term play will be comfortable
  • At some point I have a wear and tear concern given the sheer quantity of button pressing you’ll be doing on only the one button
  • While clicking with your mouse button is pretty simple and mindless on PC I don’t think the style translates well to console