I’ve played my fair share of tower defense games or titles similar to the genre, from Dungeon Defenders to the sleeper hit Fat Princess, I had quite a bit of fun keeping things safe from opposing forces. Now there’s a crazy new entry out there from Relevant Games with Fat Chicken, which plays out as a wacky, reverse tower defense game that takes a subject that’s usually morbid and turns it into a flawed, but still fun experience.
Things are pretty simple here: your job is to fatten up farm animals like chickens, pigs and other livestock before sending them to the slaughterhouse, as the fatter they are, the more money you get to upgrade your farm and equipment. To do this, you get to place towers along the paths the animals take that lead from the farm to slaughterhouse. These towers do things like inject them with growth hormones, food and water, etc. You’ll need to place these strategically as the animals lose weight and get dehydrated as they move along the path.
As you work your way through thirteen different farm locations and twenty-six stages, you’ll eventually be able to hire farm hands called “heroes” to help aid you in your farm quest. These heroes grant special bonuses such as earning more money for animals, increasing the feed and water you give them and so on. Trust me, you’ll need them as you move up in the game as things tend to heat up fairly quickly with extra waves animals and multiple paths they can take, protesters trying to take down your farm and even UFO’s (I’m not kidding).
Sadly, the controls factor in on some of the difficulty, as they don’t work out as well as they should. While basic stuff works such as touching your choices, where to place towers and which one you want there, etc., pinching and swiping to change the camera angles and zoom level still need a lot of work (on the mobile version). To make things a little worse, zooming up on the game tends to show the muddled looking graphics that look decent from a distance but not so great up close. Luckily the sound effects aren’t too bad and fit for the most part, and the soundtrack by Jason Graves (Dead Space series, Tomb Raider 2013 reboot) helps keep things lively with it’s country charm and upbeat tunes, which is sure to keep players going through wave after wave of animals.
Fat Chicken may not be the best entry in the tower defense game, but there’s still plenty here to keep players busy and entertained if given the chance. The graphics and touch controls for the camera can use some work, but the catchy soundtrack and decent gameplay are the main things that keep this game from being sent to the slaughter in the end.