With the industry as stacked as it is at the moment, it seems like there are more and more games that we can’t find time for every year. I could list dozens of titles that I wish I’d been able to play during my time at GodisaGeek, but today the one on my mind is Chicken Police: Paint it RED. A noir narrative game featuring animal characters sounds an awful lot like everything I love, and having played a preview of the sequel Chicken Police: Into the HIVE I can confirm my suspicions were correct.
Sonny and Marty are back, and are still the most decorated officers in the animal police force. After discovering a dead insect and being asked by a mysterious hooded widow to investigate this, the two hard boiled cock protagonists have to head into the darker side of town – The Hive. This lawless area is segregated from the still pretty dark regular side of town, and the force generally leaves it alone. Never one to shy away from dodgy dealings though, Sonny is determined to solve this case regardless of how dangerous.
The preview section of the game I played began with Sonny looking for his partner before setting off on this quest. It doesn’t take long to find him though, drunk outside his house and shouting for his wife to let him back in. As an introduction to the world of Chicken Police it was pretty much perfect, introducing both the humorous yet gritty noir style of the game and showing off the mechanics.
With a first person view of the street where Marty lives, I was tasked with pointing and clicking to get the attention of my drunk partner by any means necessary. Discussion wasn’t going to cut it, so after scouring the environment I found a prized possession of Marty’s and hurled it at the back of his head. Bruised and embarrassed he came with me to the station so we could get permission to enter The Hive.
The police station was full of colourful characters, all with opinions on the stupid quest we had our hearts set on. I loved meeting characters like the helpful hummingbird who wanted to assist us as much as possible, or the snooty fox who wanted to be the best copper in the city. Fans of the previous game will likely be happy to spend time with these familiar faces, and plenty of new ones as well.
The insect part of town is nothing like your home turf, and the police are very much not welcome. It takes a lot of effort to meet with the spider crime boss who runs the place, with doormen and bartenders who aren’t particularly willing to help a couple of cluckers out. In order to get the password to the backroom of the club of the web weaver I had two options, either prove my local knowledge of bug town or play a drinking game involving bouncing peanuts off shot glasses and a bottle of hard liquor. Obviously I chose the latter, and one angle based minigame later I was ready to meet the spider woman in charge.
After a brief conversation with this enigmatic crime lord, the preview build ended and I was left hungry for more Chicken Police: Into the HIVE. The sheer charm of the game is infectious, with its gritty noir style and wacky animal stylings. The characters with heads of animals are often downright hilarious to look at, and using phrases like “mother clucker” and “chicken shit” in the heat of the moment only improves the game more. There’s even the option to play the game in colour or black and white for the ultimate noir experience, and you can swap between these art styles at any time.
Chicken Police: Into the HIVE may just be a simple game involving pointing, clicking and chatting to animals, but the fantastic writing and undeniable charm make it simply wonderful. I’m only sad that I was only able to play an hour of the game, and that I’ll have to wait to experience more of this clucking great game.
Chicken Police: Into the HIVE is coming soon to PC via Steam. A demo is out now.