Loot Entertainment, the developer of the new game Fluster Cluck, has a chicken obsession. Not a casual obsession, mind you; a full-blown, probably needs meds obsession that is equal parts scary and funny.
The game, which is available for the PlayStation 4, is a simple shooter where players (up to four in local co-op, not “coop”) try to collect cows and then drop them into the “chikkinizer” to turn them into chickens. And not just cows can be chikkinized. There are many other animals that can be snatched up and dropped to the Chikkinizer. Players can even shoot down their competitors and drop them into the chikkinzer for more points and prestige. But wait, there’s more. Everyday objects can also be collected and turned to chickens. Players zoom around in one of a variety of aircraft, each armed with a tractor beam (you know, to collect the various components of making chickens) and weapons to shoot other players.
Games are broken down into timed affairs and awards are given based on performance. There is a single player campaign that hides in the guise of starting a new job, along with a hilarious intro created in the form of an orientation video for Chikken Koop Industries. The narrator loves chickens and screams and shouts all about the sought-after fowl.
The couch co-op mode is meant to be a throwback to the multiplayer games of old where friends would gather around a single TV set and battle each other amidst trash talk, jib jabbing, and friendly competition. It succeeds, for the most part, but there are definitely issues with his feathery cavalcade.
While Fluster Cluck is funny in concept, the real issues are rooted in its gameplay. Controlling the ships is not easy, and accuracy in shooting is all over the board, while the CPU players are dead shots every time. This gets frustrating after a few rounds, even after earning XP to rise within the ranks of the organization and unlock promotions — and new ships. Also, new levels cannot be unlocked until winning a game against three CPU opponents, no matter how many promotions are received. If you find difficulty in control and combat as I did, you could very well spend many rounds trying desperately to win, even though your level is in the teens or higher.
And once a new level is unlocked, the world gets bigger and more spread out and you will find yourself trying to get captured cows to the chikkinizer over a lot of terrain, all the while being shot at by three other computer-controlled players. It is frustrating, or I guess in this case, Flustrating.
Fluster Cluck can be a very fun game if you have four friends over and are looking for competitive play. I can see it being a hit in dorm rooms or in families with a few children. The casual gamer might find the controls too clunky (clucky) and get bored with it easily. However, it is age-appropriate and the humor works for both children and adults. It’s the accuracy that is called into question.
Fluster Cluck was reviewed on PS4 and furnished by Loot Entertainment for the purposes of this review. It is now available on the PlayStation Store exclusively for PlayStation 4.
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