Story, graphics, and sound
You take the role of Hardboiled Chicken, a pissed off chicken who's sick of living under the dictatorship of the penguin army. There is a single player campaign as well as a separate co-operative campaign where you can play with your buddies locally or over the network. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken features 2D graphics but the art is beautiful. Even though graphics are 2D, there is a sense of depth as it combines some 3D elements into the environment. The level of detail in the backgrounds, environment, and character animation all help to make the world of Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken feel lived in.
To help set the tone of Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, art, soundtrack, and hilarious writing work together. There is a surprising amount of back story of our protagonist told to us with cut scenes. One of the best parts of Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is the hilarious script. For example, when you take over an enemy's body with a mind control bug, he'll say, "I gotta take a huge dump" and will let out a squeaky fart. Sure, it's a little immature but hilarious nonetheless. The soundtrack is awesome and there are creepy sounds of torture that really set the dark mood in Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken.
While you can play Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken with a mouse and keyboard, using an gamepad is definitely the way to go. Controls are logical and make learning them a quick affair. Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken features different weapons that you can acquire throughout the game. One weapon of note is the mind control bug which allows you to infect enemies and gives you control of their bodies. This brings in an interesting puzzle solving element to the game.
Speaking of puzzles, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is full of them. Most of your time will be spent trying to make your way through a level. You have to kill certain enemies that drop color coded access cards to get to different parts of the level. The game is very linear but the puzzles are challenging. Be prepared to backtrack quite often to solve these puzzles.
In addition to puzzles, Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken features action-platformer shooting and a unique cover system. You can duck into the shadows or shallow areas to avoid gunfire. Gunplay in Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is also very satisfying as it rewards stealth and rhythm. Players can juggle enemies by timing their bursts of fire, making sure enemies are incapacitated.
Combat is simple and challenging when you have to battle a swarm of enemies by yourself. Each gun has specific properties but you can get through the entire game with just one gun. Occasionally there will be more challenging enemies who don riot shields and batons who will be impervious to your bullets from the from. You'll have to sneak around them to blast them from the back.
Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken breaks up the monotony of puzzles and gunplay by having jetpack dogfights in between chapters. Strap on your jetpack and battle penguins in jets and helicopters with heat-seeking missiles. Refill your health an ammo with the items that dead enemies drop.
There is a co-operative campaign that you can play and it's solid. Play with your buddies as different birds who have different weapons. Each weapon feels weighty and provides a different style of gameplay. You'll need to ride on each others' backs to solve puzzles, which can lead to some hilarious disagreements about who gets to be on top.
Although the levels in the co-op campaign are the same in the single-player, there are different puzzle solving elements. You'll need to work together and have one player hold a button to unlock part of the level while another goes to retrieve an item in that area. Players will have work together to find ways through less obvious levels. The co-op campaign could use some more variation in gameplay like the jetpack levels and the mind control bug but is solid overall.
Ratloop Asia has created a wonderfully fun and funny game with Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken. Although Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken is a pretty standard action-platformer, the combination of beautiful art, funny dialog, and solid gameplay make Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken a worth while play.