I have a cubic buttload of games already in my 3DS backlog, and there are a fair number of big ones coming out before the end of the year. This means I’m in huge trouble, because all I want to do on that system right now is play Chicken Wiggle.
A cute little game that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention, Chicken Wiggle is the newest game from Atooi, one of the development studios that split off from Renegade Kid. you may or may not recognize that name from Mutant Mudds, which was one of the first truly stellar games to show up on the 3DS eShop (and is now on everything). To nobody’s surprise, Chicken Wiggle bears more than a slight resemblance to Mutant Mudds.
Not only are the two games visually similar, they both feature the same kind of challenging platforming. They move at a more measured pace than say, your Marios or Mega Mans, and each is gifted with very tight, responsive controls. Chicken Wiggle takes the base set by Mutant Mudds and expands on it by switching out the gun and jetpack for a grappling hook. This means the game is far less action-oriented, but adds in more exploration to make up for it.
Also the grappling hook is a worm.
While the story mode in Chicken Wiggle is a fun and moderately challenging experience, the real meat of the game comes from the expansive stage creation mode. It’s incredibly impressive, and lets you use every single tile, object, and monster in the game to design whatever kind of crazy stages your twisted mind can come up with. It’s actually even better than the 3DS version of Super Mario Maker, because while the editor isn’t quite as whimsical, you can share stages with other players online. There’s also a robust system for finding other players’ stages, which makes it much more user-friendly than the Wii U version of Mario Maker’s bare-bones stage discovery features.
There is one massive feature missing, and that’s Mario Maker’s ability to just jump into your custom stage at any point to see how something works. Chicken Wiggle instead forces you to load up the stage each time, rather than having the ability to test seamlessly. Sure, you can move the starting point around to make sure you begin at the point you want to try out, but it’s not quite as handy as being able to jump in and out of the stage while still in the editor.
I am still super happy that Chicken Wiggle came around though, as it has re-ignited my love of stage design. And it’s nice to be working in a game that’s so mechanically different from Mario, too, because it makes you think completely differently about your stages. The only sad part is that I know very few people IRL who own a 3DS, and none of them give even the slightest flip about games like Chicken Wiggle. So I have nobody to share ideas and stages with. Sad face. My fault for not having friends, I guess.