Retro Gamer Issue 112, February 2013 - Iain Lee retrocolumn
Retro Gamer Issue Thirty Seven, May 2007
No. 8 in the top 25 platformers of all time as voted by Retro Gamer readers
Systems: BBC Micro, Spectrum, Dragon 32/64, C64, MSX, Tatung Einstein, CPC, Amiga, Atari ST, PC
Publisher: A&F Software
Many people recall playing this on the BBC Micros that adorned the classrooms of many schools in the
Eighties. The brainchild of teenager Nigel Alderton, it became available on many other machines but
the central idea of collecting a dozen eggs on each level of this million seller remained. Blitz Games
boss, Philip Oliver, one half of The Oliver Twins, loved it. "Andrew and I were 15 in 1983 when Chuckie
Egg suddenly became a craze," he recalls. "We'd just had our first few games published and were
busy writing more. We felt big-selling games had to be ones that were hard to write. Yet this very
simple game came from nowhere and everyone liked it - including girls that Andrew and I wanted to impress
with the games we'd written - but they didn't like our games.
"Up until this point, a good game was a challenging game, yet here you rarely lost a life. It took us a
few years longer to conclude that a successful game is about entertainment not about challenges. And I
don't think girls will ever be impressed by programming skills."
PC Action Emulate! Issue 6, November 2004
BBC MICRO EMULATOR HEAD TO HEAD
GAME 3 - CHUCKIE EGG
Part of a trio of favourite, classic, games selected to compare three BBC Micro emulators
Insanely frustrating pseudo-Donkey Kong rip-off that still makes us grin like loons whenever we play it.
And no, we still can't get any further than a few screens in.
SPECTRUM EMULATOR HEAD TO HEAD
GAME 3 - CHUCKIE EGG
Part of a trio of favourite, classic, games selected to compare three Spectrum emulators
This game was developed in 1985 and is one of the most revered Spectrum games ever made. The concept is simple - take the farmer
around the level, collect all the eggs and bird seed, and avoid those pesky birds. It's the quality gameplay and the simplicity
of Chuckie Egg that makes it an all-time great.
Retro Gamer Issue Nine, November 2004
No. 28 in the top 100 games as voted for by the readers
When it comes to memorable 8-bit characters, poor Hen House Harry doesn't score too highly. Harry was of diminutive
size and had a bizarre pot belly, so it was hardly surprising the killer chickens wanted to peck him to death. In the
case of Chuckie Egg, the game itself was surely the star vehicle and poor Harry was just along for the rid. This fast
and frantic platformer served to test both your precision-jumping skills and your patience in equal measure. Chuckie
Egg was also famously difficult, with a seemingly never-ending loop of levels. Harry returned in Chuckie Egg 2 shortly
after, but that somewhat bloated sequel has failed to make the chart.
Retro Gamer Issue Two, April 2004
TOP TEN WORKING CLASS HEROES
Hen House Harry
Hard up Harry never had the most desirable job in the world. Cramped in a stinking hen house, grabbing the eggs while
avoiding killer chickens. And then there was the crazy duck to content with. And all this just to earn a living.
The unlikely star of 1983's Chuckie Egg stands out as one of the most memorable 8-bit heroes. With his pot belly and
oversized hat, he would risk life and limb for his daily pay. But fortune favours the brave, and in Chuckie Egg 2
(1985) he received a brand new, tastier job in the local chocolate factory. Good on him we say! Wolf it down!
Your Sinclair magazine: January 1992, Issue 73
The Your Sinclair Official Top 100 Part 4
13 - Chuckie Egg (A & F)
Very probably the most-played computer game the world's ever seen, if you don't count Super Mario Brothers as a
computer game, that is. Chuckie Egg was converted for just about every machine under the sun, but the Speccy
incarnation was the original and best. A straightforward platform game with the emphasis on speed and playability,
Chuckie Egg rose above its daft title and total lack of promotion to become the longest-running chart smash until
Robocop, some six years later. If you want to see how thought and care can transform the most basic concept into a
classic, take a look at this.
PLATFORM - GAME CHUCKIE EGG
A'n'F, £7.90 cass, joystick or keys
This classic platform game has 256 levels of increasing difficulty which are liable to make the sanest person crack.
All you have to do is collect eggs in the farmyard - a nice peaceful country occupation - but this one will keep you
coming back in sheer eggsasperation at its addictiveness.
Each screen is formed of platforms, ladders and sometimes a lift system, where twelve eggs and piles of corn are
left lying around. You play a little fat guy who has to pick up all the eggs and get the corn for bonuses. You
can walk around jumping gaps and bouncing off walls but have to avoid the three dangers that inhabit the hen
G O O D N E W S
- Plenty of levels.
- Addictive gameplay that is easy to get used to but tough to master.
- Some well-designed screens with tough egg positioning.
B A D N E W S
- Simple graphics and sound.
- No variety in what you have to do.
GRAB FACTOR 83%
STAYING POWER 79%
A A RATING 78%
Sinclair User magazine: June 1985, Issue 39
Spectrum Software Scene
Chuckie Egg II
Joystick Kempston, Sinclair
SO YOU THOUGHT you had seen the last of it. No more Chuckie Egg, no more little yellow Harry to run up ladders and jump
off platforms. You were wrong. Chuckie Egg II has arrived, and it's every bit as nauseating as the original.
Chuckie Egg was one of the earliest levels and ladders programs, a game which everybody loathed and nobody could stop
playing. The sequel has Harry attempting to get a chocolate egg factory working again, and has a definite arcade-adventure
feel to it.
Played across 200 odd screens of basic girder-plus-peculiar-monsters graphics, Chuckie Egg II requires much shinning up
of ropes and jumping over rats and lizards to complete. Objects which must be picked up along the way are used in other
screens to delay monsters or achieve a particular exit.
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.
A competition with cash prizes for the highest scores adds a little zest to the proceedings, and certainly A&F groupies
will find Chuckie Egg II just as frustratingly addictive as their first encounter with the henhouse, those many moons ago.
Sinclair User magazine: November 1984, Issue 32
50 software classics
19 - Chuckie Egg (A&F)
Dragon Update Newsletter: October 1984, Issue 2
Chuckie Egg by A&F Software
I must admit I am not, nor have ever been, an arcade fan, that's one of the reasons why I am never any good at them. That
said 'Chuckie Egg' is one of my favourite programmes, why I don't know -maybe it's the sheer lunacy of the plot where you
have to go around picking up eggs and hiding them from hens, or maybe it's because there are ten different screens -I'd
better outline the game so that you won't think I'm too mad.
You are farmer trying to pick up the eggs lying around the hen house. There just happen to be various obstacles in the way;
these include those infuriating hens, moving lifts, and gaping holes in the floor. After screen ten a mad flying duck starts
to chase after you. Mind you as yet I haven't got this far although my next door neighbour has - I tell you it's panic
stations when that duck takes off!
It all happens in PMODE 3,1 Screen 1,0. I personally find this the best colour scheme that is available. Instructions are in
PMODE4. This is, in itself, a nice touch in that you don't meet the text screen at any stage, it gives the programme an air
of proffessionalism. The graphics are very good; the farmmer has four positions and the hens three.
Control is via the keyboard and this is really my only complaint, the programe wwill accept up to four players but you have
to move your Dragon around, this is a bit annoying -especially withn a loose transformer plug! The keys can be redefined but
I found the four arrow keys and the spacebar (for jumping) the best layout. Movement of the characters is smooth and very
quick, the only time you get flicker is when the farmer is right at the top.
Screen seven is the one that I always get stuck on and trying to time the jump onto the lifts is murder.
If 'Chukie Egg' doesn't become a classic with Dragon owners then there just ain't no justice in this world, great value at
Sinclair User magazine: January 1984, Issue 22
Ladders unsafe in duck game
CHUCKIE EGG for the 48K Spectrum presents yet another variation on the Donkey Kong theme. Here the object is to negotiate
a system of platforms and ladders, picking up eggs and corn on each level while pursued by giant ducks.
It is surprising that the ducks give you less concern than the ladders. Whether intentionally or not, the game makes it
difficult to get on or off the ladders unless you are in the proper position. The slightest touch on the key might make
you over-shoot your target and, as the ducks approach, you will find yourself unable to move out of the way.
The game also offers a jump facility but judging your leaps accurately is no easier than climbing the ladders. Nor is it
any use thinking you can wait for the ducks to cruise past you because you are playing against the clock and might run out
Each level presents new challenges, such as bigger gaps in the platforms on level two, and moving lifts on which you must
try to jump on level three. Fortunately you have three lives on each level, which obviates the need to return to the
beginning again each time you are mauled by a duck.
Even though the difficulty of using the ladders as an escape route slows the game considerably, Chuckie Egg manages to be
highly addictive and has appealing graphics and sound. It is produced by A & F Software, Manchester, and costs £6.90.
Electron User 1.11
Product: CHUCKIE EGG
Publisher: A N F
Formats: Tape, Discs: ADFS 1D00, CDFS, DFS
Works On: BBC B, B+, Master 128 & Acorn Electron
Reviewed: Trevor Roberts
Remember the old arcade game where you had the unnerving task of leaping over seemingly endless gaps in your path,
climbing ladders and being chased by ghoulies, ghosties and beasties as you progressed? Were you addicted, as I was?
If so, then CHUCKIE EGG, the new game from A & F Software, will be right up your street.
You control a cute little man with fast moving legs who starts at the bottom of the screen and has the task of
collecting all the eggs. This has to be done before the nasties get out and eat all the corn. And be warned, if you
bump into a nasty you're a gonner.
It is also wise to keep an eye on the crazy duck in the cage at the top left. If she gets out you've had your chips
- with or without eggs.
It's not easy, but you do have a stock of lives to get through before your little man is annihilated. Once one level
is cleared of eggs you progress higher, progressively harder with lifts and landing stages adding to the action.
You've got to be quick thinking and have fast reactions to collect all your eggs.
The sound and graphics are excellent and the key allocation is particularly good. Although the program gives you one
set of keys you can choose your own, a feature more software houses should follow.
It's a great game, compelling and entertaining and should appeal to all ages. A winner.