Chicken Scream is a unique side-scrolling platformer developed by Perfect Tap Games. In Chicken Scream, you play as one of an assortment of chickens, slowly progressing from left to right. As you move along the screen, you'll have to dodge pitfalls, jump over obstacles, and quickly run to avoid falling platforms. All the while, you'll collect coins and pursue a high score. Sounds pretty simple, yeah? Well, Chicken Scream takes a completely basic formula and turns it on its head.
I'm not being short in my description; Chicken Scream really is a simple game. It's not very complex, and there's not a whole lot of bells and whistles. The start menu has a big flashing play button, urging you to give it a go. Below, you can see your all time best score, as well as tap a few buttons to bring up alternate menus. There's a shop where you can unlock over 15 different chickens to play as. Chickens are unlocked primarily through the coins you collect, but there's also some reserved for specific high score goals. Additionally, some chickens can only be unlocked by spinning a wheel of chance, which can be accessed from the main menu. You can spin the wheel every six hours, giving you a gift of coins or an elusive unlockable chicken.
Apart from unlockables, there's an achievement menu as well as a leaderboard for high scores. Achievements are a bit uninspired, awarding you with one every time you make significant progression in your score. I would've liked to see a bit more variety in the achievements, as well as some “daily challenges” or something to that tune. Chicken Scream is a pretty basic game, so I often found myself lacking motivation to return apart from the gimmick of playing it.
That brings us to the main feature of Chicken Scream, the control scheme. Instead of using arrows and a jump button to maneuver your feathered friend, the entirety of gameplay is controlled by using your voice. Talking or singing at a low volume pushes the chicken along at a brisk pace, while yelling makes it jump. In concept, the idea is hilarious. When I first played the game, I was sitting next to a few people. Since I was babbling and yelling at my phone, they were instantly intrigued with what I was playing. In that way, Chicken Scream is a great laugh to have with friends. Conversely, I don't think you'll ever find yourself playing the game in public. A lot of my mobile gaming is done on the go, so while the inventive control scheme is ingenious, it limits my ability to play. Sure, I could play Chicken Scream while waiting for the bus, but I don't think I'd get many appreciate looks from the public.
Furthermore, Chicken Scream takes a bit to tune properly. When you play, there's a sensitivity meter that you can adjust to your preference. This way, you can play the game in your house or apartment without waking the neighbors, or in a slightly noisier environment. Unfortunately, I don't think Chicken Scream will work out very well unless you're in optimal conditions. It took me quite some time to get the sensitivity just right, but still found my chicken jumping at the wrong time. It's finicky in that way, but I don't think Chicken Scream is really about super accurate controls.
Chicken Scream is a good time with friends, and it will definitely illicit laughter as you give it a go. There's not a ton of content or extra challenges to complete, which leaves the experience feeling a bit hollow. It's a great concept, and slightly awkward execution restricts it a bit, but overall Chicken Scream is a great piece of tech to try out. You won't drop hundreds of hours into it, but you'll definitely enjoy your time. I highly suggest trying it out, it's definitely worth the giggles.
Reviewed by Matt