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Alfred Chicken logo

N Alfred Chicken ow, there is a storyline behind this plucky platformer, but like most games of this ilk, it is all rather irrelevant – all you need to know is what gets you points, what to collect, what to kill and what to avoid if you do not want to be killed.

The fact that you are a chicken called Alfred who is on a mission to save Billy, his brothers and your female feathered friend Floella from Meka-chickens who want to use them in cloning experiments is interesting but does not explain the cheese, baby, wood, glass, book and sci-fi themes of the different worlds.

Clucking great
Like all platform games, this one sees you jumping around (or should I say flapping) trying to collect items, in this case diamonds, for Floella, to score extra points.

Why this chicken has such an uninspiring name as Alfred (apologies to all Alfs out there) I do not know, but the developers or marketing people must have had their reasons. Anyway, being a chicken, Alfred has quite a few unique moves. When his enemies – grimacing mice, sly snails which try to disguise themselves, or spinning ladybirds – sneak up on him, jumping up and then pulling down on the joystick ensures that Alf is in full fast-moving pecking motion and when he hits his target, it will be destroyed. Forget to pull down, however, and he is left as a cloud of floating feathers and it is back to the beginning of the level.

Alfred’s beak also comes in handy for pecking buttons, bursting balloons, cracking through ice blocks and turning TV sets on and off so he gets to ‘Mr Personality’ (pity he has not got more of one himself). Waggling the joystick swiftly makes Alfred’s wings flap feverishly as he slows down his descent.

Now that you now what makes this chicken tick, it is on with the gameplay. There are 11 levels with five worlds and the final Sci-fi level. The first few levels are easy and a touch boring. However, the activity increases as the levels progress, although there is still a lack of challenge in the air because no matter how many or how few diamonds you keenly collect or how many balloons you burst, you can still get to the Sci-fi level when you finish the one you are on. Even when you nip through one of the doorways in each of the worlds and enter a ‘secret’ room, there is nothing very secret or interesting going on.

Get stuffed
Alfred does have some nifty moves, but the lack of control spoils the fun. The good thing about this game are the big and bold background graphics, and that is about it. Being Alfed Chicken really is not much fun. It is just lots of bouncing and jumping around without really getting anywhere.

The levels are small and require very few brain cells to get through them, and the details, control and feel of the game leave you wishing you had not bothered picking up the box in the first place. Released just in time for Christmas, Alfred is not so much a chicken but more of a turkey.
Richard Baguley

Amiga Format, Issue 53, December 1993, p.98

ALFRED
CHICKEN
PROGRAMMERS
Andrew Swann
PUBLISHER
Mindscape 0444 246333
PRICE
£25.99
RELEASE
Out now

 

GRAPHICS
06 out of 10
Nothing to get excited about.

SOUND
03 out of 10
Not a funky chicken.

ADDICTION
05 out of 10
I managed to put it down.

PLAYABILITY
05 out of 10
Bouncy but boring.

VERDICT
"It is big bold and bouncy, but that is about all there is to recommend this rather aimless and pointless platform romp. Poor controls and easy levels."
62%


Alfred Chicken logo

Mario, Sonic, Zool und James Pond – eine Company, die auf sich hält, muß heutzutage einfach ihr eigenes Plattform-Maskottchen haben! Also hat sich Mindscape jetzt einen knuddeligen Action-Gockel zugelegt...

Alfred Chicken Es ist aber auch zum Federnraufen: Kaum herrscht mal Friede, Freude und Hühnenfutter im Plattformland, da entführen die bösen Meka Chickens Billy und seine Brüder! Wer ist Billy, wer sind seine Brüder? Das weiß selbst die Anleitung nicht so genau, für den tierischen Heldne sind die Jungs jedenfalls wichtig genug, um eine Geiselbefreiung zu wagen.

Zu diesem Zweck hüpft das tapfere Federvieh im folgenden durch elf (nochmals in Abschnitte unterteilte) Levels voller Fallen und Feinde, sammelt Diamanten, Luftballons oder Bonusextras ein und legt sich ab und an mit besonders dicken Endgegnern an. Soweit unterscheidet sich Alfred kaum von der Genre-Konkurrenz, allerdings tritt er seinen Feldzug für Recht, Ordnung und Plattform-Spaß fast unbewaffnet an. Zunächst werden hinderliche Eisblöcke also nur mit dem Schnabel zerpickt bzw. Feinde im Sturzflug attackiert; erst durch Aufsammeln von Marmeladen-Munition oder Schutzschilden wird das pazifistische Geflügel zum wahren Kampfhahn. Daneben finden sich noch Sprungfedern und Raketenlifts für Flüge in höhere Regionen, außerdem müssen des öfteren per Schalter Steine an- bzw. ausgeknipst werden, um den Weg frei zu machen.

Durch die kleinen Rätseleinlagen, die Schwimm- und Flugübungen und den ausgewogenen Schwierigkeitsgrad ohne unfaire Stellen ist also für schön abwechslungsreiches Gameplay gesorgt, wie sieht es bei der Technik aus? Auch hier alles in Butter: Die bunten Spielzeug-, K|ase- oder SF-Landschaften scrollen soft in alle Himmelsrichtungen, die Gegner (Schnecken, Stachelkugeln, Elektrowale etc.) stehen dem drollig animierten Hauptdarsteller kaum nach, wenn es um süßes Aussehen geht. Musik- und Soundkulisse können sich hören lassen, die Steuerung offenbart keine Mängel, und Nachladepausen sind gottlob Mangelware.

Für einen Hit reicht es trotzdem nicht, dazu hätten die Programmierer mehr Tempo und neue Ideen ins Spiel bringen müssen. Das soll jedoch Plattformfans mit A500/600 nicht von der Bekanntschaft mit Alfred Chicken abhalten, lediglich Besitzern eines A1200 oder CD32 sei (noch) etwas Zurückhaltung empfohlen – ihnen serviert man das Hendl nämlich schon bald in extrabunten Spezialmenüs! (rl)

Amiga Joker, November 1993, p.92

ALFRED
FOR PRESIDENT

Was tut ein frischgebackener Digi-Held nicht alles, um aus der Masse der Kollegen hervorzustechen? Nun, Alfred hat sich zur Wahl gestellt! Ehrlich, als letztens im britischen Parlament ein Stuhl neu zu besetzen war, meldete Mindscape die Alfred Chicken-Partei zur Kandidatur an – und errang beim Urnengang tatsächlich 18 Stimmen! Für einen Platz in der Regierung war es zuwenig, für einen erfolgreichen Werbegag mehr als genug: Alfred Chicken machte dicke Schlagzeilen in allen bekannten Tageszeitungen und Nachrichtensendern Englands!
Vote Alfred Chicken

ALFRED CHICKEN
(MINDSCAPE)
CHICKEN - RUNNER
72%
"KNUSPRIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
72%
74%
70%
68%
72%
74%
FÜR FORTGESCHRITTENE
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
512 KB
1/NEIN
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG



Alfred Chicken logo

MINDSCAPE OUT NOW £25.99

Alfred Chicken There's something about the mind of a platform game designer that's warped. After all, what sane person could possibly come up with a plot like Alfred Chicken. The Meka Chickens have come from outer space and eggnapped Billy and his brothers. They've even taken the fluffy Floella. You, under the guidance of Mr. Peckles the sunflower, must go and rescue them. Weird.
Of course, it's a platform game, and like so many other Amiga platformers, it taps its head in the direction of Mario/Sonic and anything else that has been remotely successful on console. Although platform games have come along in leaps and bounds, this game, however, adds nothing new to the genre. Sure, it's playable enough, but name a recent platform game that wasn't?
Each level has a different theme, as usual, but your aim is always the same - to rescue Billy and the gang. To get through the levels you must release the balloons that are connected to air supplies. When all the balloons have been let go, the last one carries you off screen to Mr Peckles' lab in the sky. Hold on, this is getting silly again!

If you think the plot is weird, then why not take a look at some of your opposition: snails that grow spikes, or have vertical firing cannons mounted on their backs, and whales with high-powered machine guns. There are even a few neurotic bombs to contend with! These, though, can never match up to the might of the Meka-Chickens. After every three levels, you are blasted into space and placed in your Meka Buster ship for a manic shoot out against the huge and badly drawn super enemy. This is probably the most active part of the game.

Alfred Chicken is, as I've said a playable platformer, but it does suffer from a couple of problems. The biggest has to be your mode of attack. Like all platform titles you kill the bad guys by jumping on them. However, you have to hit them head first, by leaping into the air, and then diving onto them. If you miss, they can just walk into you, killing you instantly. Needless to say, this can be very frustrating.
Also, Alfred doesn't move very quickly. Although he is beautifully animated and designed to the point where you just want top him up and cuddle him, he just can't get out of the way of the faster moving enemies. For example, if you jump and discover something is bearing down on you, you can rarely move him out of the way in time, so you are killed on contact and returned (annoyingly) to the point of the last-released balloon. Alfred Chicken had all the makings of a classic platform game, but sadly a few niggles have left the gameplay slightly irritating.
Tony Dillon

70%

CU Amiga, December 1993, "HOT! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" – Amiga games Special, p.22


Alfred Chicken AGA logo  AGA 

Auch Mindscapes hüpfendes Federvieh mit dem großen Schnabel jagt am 1200er immer noch durch dieselben Plattformen: Alfred bereist Käse- Spielzeug oder SF-Szenarien und sammelt Diamanten, Luftballons und andere wichtige Dinge ein, welche die Programmierer dort vergessen haben. Um sich seiner Gegner zu erwehren, darf er dabei des öfteren im todesmutigen Storzflug anrauschen, weil die alte Friedenstaube anfänglich ja nach wie vor unbewaffnet durch die Gegend flattert.

Während die Änderungen beim Gameplay also gleich Null sind, entdeckt der prüfende Blick auf die putzige Optik eine leicht verfeinerte Farbgebung. Erfreulich auch, daß man für die fröhliche Viecherei bloß noch 69 Eier legen bzw. anlegen muß. Wir hingegen bestehen trotzdem unverändert auf unseren bereits ausgeteilten 72 Prozent. (ms)

Amiga Joker, February 1994, p.74


Alfred Chicken CD32 logo  CD32

Mindscape International * £25.99 * Out now
Alfred Chicken CD32 Good name is Alfred. There is The Great, the Roberts from the corner shop and the er, Chicken. Not content with inspiring the name of a political party at the last General Election, the Alfmeister clucks on to CD, wings proudly flapping and ready to solve the world’s problems. Apparently, the Meka-Chickens have kidnapped (eggnapped, as amusingly told in the manual) William and his brothers as well as some bird called Floella and are intent on using them in cloning experiments. Thus, with feathers ruffled you (The Chicken) must put all your eggs in one basket and flap off on a barnstorming, platforming rescue mission. Alf’s beak ensures you are well up the pecking order as you burst balloons, jump on baddies and collect bonuses.

The graphics are big, bright and bouncy although the sprite can be tricky to control and you do not get to do a great deal of interesting things. Rather dull platform fayre.
Stephen Bradley

64%

Amiga Format, Issue 56, February 1994, p.66


Alfred Chicken CD32 logo  CD32

Nach Plattformstars wie "Zool" oder "James Pond" dreht sich nun auch Mindscapes knuddeliges Actionhendl am CD Spieß. Das Gameplay hat man dabei 1:1 von der Diskversion übernommen; es gilt, bunte Spielzeug- oder Werkstatt-Szenarien zu durchhüpfen, Feinde mit dem Schnabel beiseite zu picken und allerlei Bonusgut aufzuklauben. Die Gegnerattacken sind stets fair, für Abwechslung sorgen Schwimmabschnitte und kleine Puzzles, für große Augen die aufgebbohrten Präsentation: Die Musik kommt direkt von CD, der Grafik hat man ein paar zusätzliche Farben sowie einen parallax scrollenden Hintergrund spendiet. Optik und Akustik gefallen also eine ganze Nummer besser, und das Optionsmenü mit einstellbarer Anzahl der Continues und Highscore-Tabelle ist überhaupt neu – genau wie unsere Wertung von nunmehr 76 Prozent. (rl)

Amiga Joker, February 1994, p.75


Alfred Chicken CD32 logo  CD32

Mindscape £25.99

This takes the prize for the month’s most-improved-on-the-CD32 game, with the addition of some pleasant parallax-scrolling backdrops that were not in the rather sparse-looking A500 version, as well as the usual CD soundtrack and 256-colour graphics. Otherwise it is the same limited-but-likeable platformer that it always was, but, as with Zool, the backdrops somehow give it a much more grown-up, complete feel and make it tangibly nicer to play, so I am going to bump up the marker a little bit.
STUART CAMPBELL

Amiga Power, Issue 34, February 1994, p.p.80-81

THE BOTTOM LINE
CD32 Oh, and hurrah for Mindscape for actually improving the game but not being tempted to slap an extra fiver onto the price at the same time, too. Well done.
75
P E R C E N T


Alfred Chicken CD32 logo  CD32  CU Amiga Screen Star

MINDSCAPE £29.99

W Alfred Chicken CD32 ho knows why Mindscape chose a chicken as a hero, but it obviously worked, with this game becoming one of their biggest sellers of '93. Alfred is a bit brighter than your average chicken - cut his head off and he won't run around spraying blood everywhere. So, when his mates are kidnapped by the evil, robotic Meka-Chickens, he sets out to rescue them and destroy all other enemies of chicken-kind.

The graphics are reminiscent of Robocod, but fortunately the game doesn't play the same way. Alfred is a totally bizarre character and unlike any other platform game star. To dispose of his enemies, he has to drop beak first on top of them, which as it happens, is quite a tricky manoeuvre. To make things easier you can collect a pot of jam which, for some reason, outfits Alfred with a supply of bombs which he can lob at his enemies.

Like the A1200 version, the graphics are really excellent, with neat, colourful sprites and some very smart levels. But what really makes the game a winner is its overall quirkiness. Collect watering-cans to gain extra lives, open a can of worms to get a shield, and balance on pop cans to reach higher platforms. It is not all leaping and killing though, there are puzzles to be solved, bonus games to be played and secret rooms to be found. Altogether these elements make Alfred Chicken completely addictive and totally weird. One of the best platform games out on CD and, like Arabian Nights, it's an essential purchase.
Mark Patterson

86%

CU Amiga, February 1994, p.51