Chuckie Egg 2

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Chuckie Egg 2
Chuckie Egg 2 (Cover Game).jpg
Developer(s) A&F Software
Publisher(s) A&F Software
Pick & Choose
Designer(s) Pete Waterfield
Sean Townsend
A'n'F R&D Team[1]
Platform(s) ZX Spectrum
Commodore 64
Amstrad CPC
Atari ST
Amiga
Release date(s) 1985
Genre(s) Arcade game, Adventure game
Mode(s) Single player

Chuckie Egg 2 is the sequel to 1983 hit computer game Chuckie Egg. Released in 1985 and featuring the same lead character, Henhouse Harry, the game took players beyond the single-screen format of the original into a large factory. Here, Harry had to assemble a toy-carrying chocolate egg from its constituent parts (sugar, milk and cocoa powder) and deliver it to the dispatch lorry. On completion the quest restarted, with more monsters and an alternative toy.

History[edit]

Chuckie Egg had been a slow but consistent earner for its publishing house, A'n'F. With quoted sales of over a million copies on a variety of 8-bit platforms,[2] a sequel was inevitable. Nigel Alderton, the author of the original Chuckie Egg, had been working on a Mr. Do!-style follow up that never came to fruition.[3] With Alderton's move to Ocean Software, A'n'F took development in a different direction.

To aid in their publicity, A'n'F organised a Chuckie Egg 2 competition, pitting contestants against each other in regional heats and a national final. Crash, a gaming magazine popular at the time, was tasked with adjudication.[4] Prizes included silver and gold egglets and up to £500 cash. The winner of this contest is unknown.

Chuckie Egg 2 seems influenced by a number of ZX Spectrum games available at the time, most notably Atic Atac (late 1983) and Sabre Wulf (1984). Both of these feature wide roaming in a large environment, and Chuckie Egg 2 can be viewed as an attempt to bring the "Chuckie" franchise to these more modern, immersive styles of game.

Description[edit]

(Description follows the ZX Spectrum format of the game, but differences from other versions are slight)

After a loading screen depicting the A'n'F logo, the game title and a cracked egg between sheaves of corn, the game opens with an explanatory scrawl:

Harry has to make a giant egg, to do this he must collect from around the fun factory, cocoa, milk and sugar. Eight of each of these must be dropped into the correct vat.
To add to the confusion each egg must contain a toy kit. The eight parts of this can also be found in the factory. These are cyan and must be dropped in the toy maker.
Once you have completed an egg you must take it to dispatch. You will then be able to start on the next egg, but this time you will have more monsters to contend with...!!!
You may use a joystick or if you prefer you can define your own keys for playing with.

Page two continues:

The game contains a save option which can be used at any time, you will be able to select your own key for this purpose.
The game is designed to be an arcade/adventure in the true sense. So remember that you will find items that can be moved from place to place and then used to get out of tricky situations.
A couple of hints, you find most factories need power to work. You only have two hands for carrying things unless...! Some pipes are more slippery than others.
Don't forget to enter the competition. Have fun.....

Henhouse Harry....

The next screen displays a high score table, which at the start of the game displays only the name "A&F" and all zeroes. Players have the option to play the game, redefine keys, load a saved game or save the high-score table.

As the game begins, Harry is deposited by truck next to a sign warning him to beware of the dog. A crescent moon shines above and a bird flaps across the sky. From here Harry moves through 120 screens arranged in a 10x12 grid, one at a time. Harry's entrance screen occupies the top-most left corner of this grid making much of the factory underground. Screens are populated by a variety of characters including alligators, spiders, birds, bubbles and hoovers, most of whom kill Harry on touch although some simply repel him. Unlike in Chuckie Egg, Harry is also killed by a long fall. The game begins with five lives, and the successful completion of each commodity (eight each of milk, cocoa, etc. dropped into the vat) results in a bonus life being awarded.

The game is further divided into thematic sections. Milk is collected in an ice zone, cocoa in a purple zone in which most enemies are monkeys, sugar in an industrial blue zone and the toy in a brick zone that bears the most resemblance to the original game. The egg maker, which needs all ingredients and the toy to function, is located in a zone infamous for allowing Harry to fall to his death through the "slippery" pipes.

Several tranisitional zones exist between these task-centred areas, and due to the game's non-linear layout a number of these can be bypassed in any successful completion.[5]

After delivery of the completed egg, the game restarts. Extra monsters are now present, most notably in the two additional moles in one of the first screens, but the game remained essentially identical. In a further twist, different toys are constructed in each of the first four iterations of the game. These are: a motorbike, a vintage car, a yacht, a space shuttle.[6]

Scoring is somewhat random in character. Players receive points for moving to a new screen for the first time, as well as for picking up (by moving over them) various objects including fruit, tools and eggs. The scoring received for these objects is inconsistent both between screens and each time the game is played.

Platforms and availability[edit]

Chuckie Egg 2 was originally released on cassette by A'n'F Software (or subsidiaries) for the Amstrad CPC, Sinclair ZX Spectrum (where it is sometimes referred to by its subtitle "Choccy Egg") and the Commodore 64 priced between GBP£6.90 and GBP£7.95.[7]

It was later bundled on a Virgin Group Now Games 2 compilation along with Airwolf, Cauldron, Tir Na Nog and World Cup.[8]

It was ported around 1988/89 to the Amiga and the Atari ST.[9]

Chuckie Egg 2 is now available on several emulation platforms, including all those on which it was originally published.[10]

Reception[edit]

Chuckie Egg 2 is often remembered as existing in the long shadow of its predecessor. Reviews at the time of its release were lukewarm.

In its Issue 24 "Lookback at 1985", Crash magazine noted:

A & F were also back with a follow up trying to recapture the enigmatic success of Chuckie Egg with the appropriately named Chuckie Egg 2. In addictive terms it wasn't a patch on the first game, but it did offer numerous platform leaping locations and plenty of adventure elements to keep fans happy for some hours.[11]

This was despite rating the game at 81%, one percent higher than the original Chuckie Egg.[12]

Sinclair User Issue 39 added:

There is little or nothing original about the program, which relies heavily on all the old conventions of the genre, although to be fair A&F can lay some claim to having established a few of those conventions themselves. The graphics are lurid and not of the best detail, but have that special Chuckie Egg quality all the same. An improvement is the abolition of the requirement to complete each screen before proceeding further. That is no longer necessary, and the resulting maze of exits and entrances to different screens is one of the more complex we have seen.[13]

CPC Zone concludes:

While Chuckie Egg 2 is not quite as gripping nor as addictive as the first game it is worth checking out if you are a JSW [Jet Set Willy] fan.[14]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Chuckie Egg Professionals Resource Kit, Authors
  2. ^ The Chuckie Egg Professionals Resource Kit, History
  3. ^ The Chuckie Egg Professionals Resource Kit, Sequel
  4. ^ Crash, Issue 15, Issues 15
  5. ^ Speccy Screenshot Maps Map
  6. ^ The Chuckie Egg Professionals Resource Kit, Chuckie Egg 2
  7. ^ Your Spectrum 16, Review
  8. ^ Retro Scene, Now Games 2
  9. ^ Hall of Light, Chuckie Egg II
  10. ^ The Chuckie Egg Professionals Resource Kit, Home, see links bottom left
  11. ^ Crash, Issue 24, Lookback at 1985
  12. ^ Crash, Issue 17, Reviews
  13. ^ Sinclair User, Issue 39, Review
  14. ^ CPC Zone, Game Reviews