To regard Fusterclucks as a retro styled arcade game would be a misnomer. It’s game design is basic in structure, don’t get eaten by a wolf, but it is still beleaguered with gamey-esque design trappings and art design choices which point more towards PC shovel ware titles from the early 90’s than the retro arcade games that I grew up with. It’s overall art design seems more inline with a chicken coup simulator from the early 90’s than an arcade game.
The audio call outs and sound effects used in the game are atrociously annoying. Rather than the expected chicken noises, you have to hear socializing educated sober young adults trying to sound like moronic drunk katty teenagers. The goal seems to be an attempt to personify the flock of chickens as a naive group of teenage mall rats. I have no idea who the wolves are supposed to be in that allegorical over reading of the game… maybe sexual predators with vans?
Where the game shines is in the chaotic scramble. The screen frenetically loaded with 30 sprawling hectic chickens, you the sole chicken Zantor (you can name your own chicken, I named mine Zantor) clamoring for food and power ups just to try and survive the ensuing wolf onslaught long enough to win.
Each chicken gets it’s own limited energy meter, replenished by eating the always repopulating swatches of grass on the field. Running costs energy and you spend energy to survive long enough to get more energy. It’s a futile game strategy. You’re Anne Frank without a wall to hide behind. You will die. The challenge is in being the last one to do so.
Despite all of this criticism game still sits on a solid foundational concept. Maybe its future lies only in ab online Facebook app but there is a nugget of fun at the core of this game design that could be polished into something more. The developer, Elusive Games, does intend on adding online multiplayer and if it has a robust lobby system to support it, I could see this game being quite fun.
The download for the game can be found here: http://www.elusivegames.com/fusterclucks/