Avatar ‘Chicken Police: Paint it RED!’ – mini review

“The sun rolled over for the last time of that week. I checked my chagrin; it was sitting on a fence down by the side of the street that I daren’t walk on anymore. The air was crisp and clear, it kissed my cheeks and promised me more than it could ever give. I tipped my hat and headed on my way.

‘Chicken Police’ is exactly how it sounds; it is a video game where you play as Sonny Featherland who is both a policeman and a chicken. These are very important details. Sonny, like all of the characters, has a human body but an animal head. His hands do various non-chicken things like pointing and holding guns. He talks like a character from a detective novel from the 1940’s and looks like a modern day Humphrey Bogart would… if he was a chicken.

At the start of the game you are currently 120 days away from retirement and Sonny has been put on suspension by his hard-hitting police chief. Locked away in his hotel room of an office, he is visited by a mysterious femme fatale who wants him to work a case outside the law for her client. With curiosity gnawing at his mind and nothing much else to do, he recruits his old partner Marty to help him work out just what is happening on New Year’s Eve in the city of Clawville.

‘Chicken Police’ is a very simple point and click adventure game. You won’t find any absurd puzzles here (see ‘the moustache’ from ‘Gabriel Knight III’ or ‘the goat puzzle’ from the original ‘Broken Sword’) as everything is catered to the more casual gamer. You can look at things, pick things up, talk to / ask people questions and eventually interrogate them after a period of time (where you are graded on how quickly and effectively you obtained the information you needed to progress the story). You travel between key locations on the map around the city trying to piece the puzzle together. There is the main plot to follow but you can also visit other places to chat and procure achievements for doing certain things; you know, typical video game fodder.

The visuals are lovely, like a new summer’s morn. All of the locations and characters look almost real despite the aforementioned animal head looking back at you. This is coupled with a moody soundtrack and excellent voice acting by all the main cast. The story is interesting and varied and twists at the right points to lead your expectations into red alleys and dead herrings.

Where it falls down is that it is a little too easy. There are no penalties for failing to ask the right questions (you can even re-do the entire conversation if you want to get a higher rating), you cannot die and when you are trying to assemble the clues into a cohesive structure the game is all too happy to tell you where you are going wrong and nudge you in the right direction. The dialogue is a little clumsy too, where what is being said by the characters doesn’t match the written account at the bottom. There are also numerous instances of double spaces where there shouldn’t be (such an egregious error). Sometimes you’ll ask questions of someone and then press the talk button only to instigate a conversation that was leading up to you asking questions, as if you were supposed to talk first (perhaps even more than once) and then choose to question them. The game doesn’t want to move things along based on what you’ve already done making it a little disjointed.

These are only minor gripes though. For the 5 to 10 hours I spent playing it I enjoyed every moment. It’s more a visual novel with light puzzle sections than anything else. It’s also very funny and I do hope that the developers make a sequel.

‘Chicken Police: Paint it RED!’ is available on Steam, Playstation 4, X Box and Nintendo Switch.

Avatar Fly

Death chases us all. How it follows us at every waking moment, waiting for a mistake or an accident. It lurks in the shadows, it stalks you through your dreams and like two young men on zero hour contracts standing outside Morrisons with clipboards and cheery dispositions, desperate for you to change your energy provider it will never leave you alone.

You would think given how many souls he has now Death would be quite bored with the whole scenario. You really want to throw my bits into the great steaming pot with the billions possibly trillions of others? What do you get from this, Death? Did nobody ever buy you a bike for Christmas? If you’re looking for hobbies, origami is very relaxing (that’s a big lie.)

This is Derek.

Derek in real life

We don’t know if that’s his real name because he’s dead. His body was discovered by me a few weeks ago when I was tidying up. Perched upon a picture frame in Reuben’s bedroom, Derek appears to have had a tiny heart attack. He’s not upside-down or smashed into a magazine smear on the window so it must have been natural.

There he stares, with his staring eyes, out across the field. Was it what he saw that caused the trauma or did it happen suddenly, his little light snuffed out without any word of warning? We will never know. For now let us celebrate the brief life of Derek who, by leaving us so early, left the world with one less fucking fly to deal with.

Avatar Slime Mystery

There has been an invasion of my privacy and I want the world to know about it!

In-between running away from cows, I do like to take the time to keep my flat tidy. I had noticed recently that the windows haven’t been cleaned since I moved in almost two years ago so I did make an effort over the Bank Holiday weekend to buff them to a suitable sheen. I also made sure to put all the washing away and clean the dishes although admittedly I half-heartedly hoovered on Monday evening; it needed a charge and I soldiered through regardless.

It’s a level of domesticity that I don’t normally document because it interferes with my macho image. You can’t be seen as a spokesperson for toxic masculinity if you’re too busy wiping down the kitchen tops and dusting the blancmanges (or whatever it is that people dust).

Whence I awoke in the fresh morn though I noticed a familiar sight; over the living room carpet, in and around the sofa and armchair, there was a trail of glistening slime. It’s fragile and tranquil beauty was a wonder to behold, what a marvel indeed. It was also a huge annoyance in the backside given the time I had spent trying to keep the bugger clean.

What is it that keeps messing up my carpet? If David Bellamy was here, and he’s not, something I am very pleased about, he would probably say that it was a small insect, a woodlouse or a spider, that was carrying out some antics during the night when I slept. The faint lines of silver goo were to indicate the presence of my fellow animals, my houseguests, who were happy to live in a steady harmony in that I would be there during the day and they were there to fill their boots during the evening.

I aspire to something else though, an uneasy thought process which could indicate something much more deadlier and much more sinister. What if it isn’t insects scurrying about the place, what if it is English television and radio presenter Andy Crane who has taken to compressing his body into a flat state and living underneath my sofa? He waits in some kind of bizarre chrysalis, a state of hibernation, lying dormant for most of the month but every so often comes out and leaves a long, winding reminder that he is there and he isn’t going anywhere.

What is his reason for being there? How did he get in? Did he fly in when I had the bathroom window open to get some air in? I suppose we’ll never really know. I do, however, try to be considerate when sitting on the living room furniture so as not to damage him if he is there. I would hate to squash the old boy.

Avatar Conspiracy Bales

Quick guys, I only have about five minutes before they catch me and I need to get this down and out (down and out?) down and out on the internet before they do.

Professor Reuben and I have come across an astounding scientific secret that has remained, well, a secret up until now. It concerns the best of our bovine friends, the common cow.

Where do all those cows come from? How do they get here? Was there was a time when there wasn’t cows or have they been here all this time? People have wondered this for years and with good reason; cows appear and disappear regularly with no explanation. You just don’t know. One day a field is empty and the next it’s swarming with cows like sweetcorn on a pizza.

Cows aren’t born through other cows. All that nonsense is only there to confuse you. I scoff at your notion of animals birthing animals. Cows come through a dimensional gate accessed only through bales of hay. They appear when nobody is looking, as white as my legs during the summer, with none of those black or brown splodges to speak of. It is only once they’re through into our world do they assume an identity and get splatted with paint to try and fit in with the others.

A portal hiding in plain sight

Normally I would be thrilled with such a boon. This is the kind of boon that the word ‘boon’ was made for. I’d be booning it large with a pint in one hand and maybe a couple of boons in the other. The cows, however, didn’t take too kindly to our interference with their practises.

Now that we’ve discovered this they’re after us. I haven’t slept for three days. Whenever I feel myself dropping off I can hear a sweet and low, “moo” drifting on the wind and we’re off again into the night.

If they get us and we don’t come back know only this, I regret nothing (except most of what I said and wrote in 2007).

Avatar Results Day

Don’t you hate it when things are about other people when really they should be about you?

Almost seventeen years ago I had a child and he got his GCSE results today. That took the focus away from me which never sits well with me. Technically he wouldn’t exist without parts of me so surely I should have been celebrated as well, it should have been my day as well but it wasn’t, it was all about him. So let’s turn back the clock and (try to) remember when I got my GCSE results all the way back in the year of mega panic, Y2K.

In my infinite wisdom I decided that I didn’t want to go to sleep and that I would stay up all night, and THEN go to school to pick up my results. In order to stay awake I drank at least half a dozen coffees to percolate the shizzels into my bloodstream, heavily peppered with a strong dose of sugar to sweeten the blow. This was the first time I had seriously started drinking coffee and I think it is probably the reason why I drink so much of the morning brown now.

Cup after cup I downed not knowing the repercussions to be felt two decades later. “This is a great idea,” I kept thinking, possibly whilst I shakily poured the next hot beverage.

But what would you do for those twelve or so hours, Ian, to keep your mind focused and stop from falling back into the blissful arms of sleep you may ask? I did the obvious thing, of course; I repeatedly listened to the song ‘History’ by the Verve to learn the lyrics. Then when I had reached an acceptable level of word learnery I then tried to learn the lyrics for the rest of the songs of the album ‘A Northern Soul’ because I was so cool and nobody could stop me.

In hindsight, everything about this was a stupid idea.

In the morning, bleary-eyed (not beary-eyed as I first typed) and groggy, I stumbled my way to school to pick up my magical envelope. Refusing to open it there and then I walked down to Tesco (where it was still situated in the old building opposite Barclays Bank) and revealed my results in the frozen food aisle. And there was much rejoicing.

Remembering is fun. That is, unless I’m mis-remembering and this is what I did the night before my A-Level results rather than my GCSEs.

Avatar What the deuce?

We all know how juvenile my sense of humour can be. I am the lowest of the low and the dirtiest of the dirty. A filth hound in every sense of the word.

Every time I’m browsing in Argos I come across this video game and I can’t get past the name of it. Part of me doesn’t believe it’s a real product. Take a gander:

I have watched the trailer so it is a genuine thing and not made up. You can buy this thing, you can play this thing and it’s a thing of yours. Why then does it have such a debaucherously filthy name?

It’s a game where you play a thief who has to steal stuff. You are Robbie Swifthand and you’re out to steal the Orb of Mysterious. If you separated the two they could equally be the title. Put together they sound like a bad joke from the internet.

It’s an allegory for wanking and fondling balls. I’m sorry but it is. Everything about it stinks of mischievousness as though the developers knew exactly what they were doing and were excited to put something out on modern consoles that would make Frankie Howerd titter.

I know that what is going to happen next is that the two of you, or Chris as it may be, will say that I’m out of my mind and that nobody else would come to the same conclusion. So go on then, I have left myself open to berating and await it gladly.