Sunday, May 19

Review: Chicken Rider [Nintendo Switch eShop]

It’s hard not to have mixed feelings with transplants from the mobile space sometimes. While there are great games that play well on a tablet or phone that also then translate wonderfully to the Switch and justify their presence there are others who don’t. Whether it’s a function of them playing poorly with a physical controller (some not at all) or that there’s just not enough meat on their bones to feel like they belong on a dedicated game system it just doesn’t always work out.

With one-button play that allows you to double jump and in general no real fine control Chicken Rider is an endless runner where you’re looking to collect coins while avoiding hazards of various kinds. The route is randomly generated every time with different layouts, enemies, and power-ups available on the way. In order to incentivize you there are various objectives that give rewards and coins littered about trying to encourage you to try different routes or perhaps more dangerous jumps. Aside from the aesthetics there’s little to differentiate it from a slew of pretty generic runners like it out there in that space.

Chicken Rider is a great example of how not to make a good impression when bringing something over from mobile. It’s especially tricky, I would imagine, to translate what looks like a free-to-play game that had in-app purchases into a budget paid game on Switch. That said, this isn’t the way to do it. You’re inundated with one-time upgrades and crap to buy, as well as aesthetics and skins that you’d have to grind far too long to earn (pushing you to instead buy them). This is a lazy direct port with no care applied to recontextualizing itself as a game people have paid for on a platform dedicated to games and that has plenty of high-quality platformers to choose from. If you’re interested in it, get it on mobile where it belongs.

Score: 3.5

  • If you’re willing to grind on the same general gameplay you can unlock stuff

  • A shameless mobile port that hasn’t been reinvented as a game people are paying for on a dedicated gaming console
  • The lack of nuance in jumping makes its play limited and pretty annoying on a system with an abundance of higher-quality platformers