Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Last week showcased Star Wars, a rudimentary arcade game from the 80s that I played, and pretended to play. The game used this really cool control yoke with trigger buttons that was perhaps cooler than the actual game was. But this week...this week features a game I not only haven't played, but I've never heard of either.

This week's featured game is...

Chuckie Egg

(Yes, you read that right - Chuckie Egg)

A&F Software's Chuckie Egg is a home computer video game released in 1983, initially for the ZX Spectrum, the BBC Micro and the Dragon. Its subsequent popularity saw it released over the following years on a wide variety of computers, including the Commodore 64, Acorn Electron, MSX, Tatung Einstein, Amstrad CPC and Atari 8-bit family.

As Hen-House Harry, the player must collect the twelve eggs positioned in each level, before a countdown timer reaches zero. In addition there are piles of seed which may be collected to increase points and stop the countdown timer for a while, but will otherwise be eaten by hens that patrol the level, causing them to pause. If the player touches a hen or falls through a gap in the bottom of the level, he loses a life. Each level is made of solid platforms, ladders and occasionally lift platforms that constantly move upwards but upon leaving the top of the screen will reappear at the bottom. Hitting the top of the screen while on one of these lifts, however, will also cause the player to lose a life.

Eight levels are defined and are played initially under the watch of a giant caged duck. Upon completion of all eight the levels are played again without hens, but Harry is now pursued by the freed duck who is not affected by the positioning of platforms. A second completion of all eight levels yields a third play through with both hens and the duck. A fourth pass introduces additional hens. Finally, a fifth pass has the duck and additional hens moving at a greater speed. If the player completes all forty levels then they advance to 'level 41' which is in fact exactly the same as level 33. (Source: Wikipedia)

As I mentioned before, I've never heard of this game, so obviously I've never played it. But finding a place online to play it wasn't all that difficult. You can find an online version here, playable from within your browser.

The game is "often credited alongside Miner 2049er and Lode Runner with helping develop and popularize the platform game..." I've played both of those games before, but when I played Chuckie Egg, it felt more like a very cheap Donkey Kong knockoff than a clone of one of those games. This game came out in 1983 and I believe Donkey Kong was a year or two prior to that, so yeah...that's what it feels like to me. I mean, there is a giant caged duck up in the corner where the Lady (apparently named Pauline, who knew) was held by Donkey Kong. Chuckie Egg has these hens patrolling the level (they look more like ostriches to me) that behave a lot like the fireballs on certain Donkey Kong levels (the blue levels). But the real kicker was the third level with the platforms that looked an awful lot like the elevator platforms from Donkey Kong.

Since there were only 8 unique levels, I originally planned to see if I could get to the 8th level, but after I made it to the 5th level and played it for a bit...and nothing really changes...I decided I played enough to qualify for "having played the game before".

Once again, I'm treated to a game I don't really see why it was featured in the book - I certainly wouldn't have picked it - but at least I can say I've played it now. You're not missing anything if you haven't played it. I mean, I know this is an older game from the 80s and it's hard to compare it to current generation games, but there are plenty of great games from the 80s, so I don't necessarily think I'm being too critical of this game.

(If I ever see someone wearing one of these shirts, now I'll know what it means...)

I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)

Episode 44 (here)

Episode 45 (here)

Episode 46 (here)

Episode 47 (here)

Episode 48 (here)

Episode 49 (here)

Episode 50 (here)