Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
Morning Land has been plunged into perpetual darkness by a gang of magically imbued black crows, so now it's up to Billy Hatcher to find and release the Chicken Elders from their golden eggs.
It shouldn't be a surprise that despite the silly storyline and an overly cutesy look and sound, Billy Hatcher is an addictively fun game to play. Created by the Sonic Team at Sega, Hatcher goes a long way to show that character games are still a goldmine of gaming pleasure.
The main weapon in Hatcher's 3D world is the giant egg. Basically a player positions Billy behind an egg and starts rolling. To take out a bad guy you just roll the egg right over it Once squished, the bad guy leaves behind a fruit or food item. Roll over the food and your egg grows, and once you get the egg big enough, you can let out a crow and hatch it. Depending on the color of the egg, once it cracks open you get a power-up or egg animal. The egg animals are basically big cartoonish creatures that can be unleashed on the bad guys using unique special attacks.
The main levels in the game are a blend of platforms, simplistic puzzles and level bosses. Each section also has some bonus levels that have you collecting coins or running timed courses to unlock bonuses. The most unique element of the game is the mechanics of rolling the giant egg over enemies, around curving lanes and down steep hills. It's actually quite fun; especially hills where you can grab the egg and roll with it once you build up enough speed. It can be a little difficult to finesse the egg at times, particularly while trying to make jumps with it or do quick about faces to take on new enemies. The unique movement issues seem to add to the game, instead of detract from it, forcing you to learn a new set of mechanics instead of relying on the same old run and jump techniques that most platformers seem to rely on.
One of the only let downs in this game is its lackluster multiplayer mode, which pits you against up to three friends. Unfortunately, it doesn't allow you to play the full game in cooperation with a pal, a big oversight.
The graphics and sound, although both child-like and simplistic, really are what make this game so much fun to play. The soundtrack is a fun, upbeat tune that never gets annoying and the colorful characters are a constant reminder that the Sonic team created this fun game.
In a world of dark, disturbing game replicas Billy Hatcher is just what the doctor ordered, giving gamers a new character to fall in love with and a new game to enjoy.
Download Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
Using the power of eggs, both as weapons and--after hatching them-- fighting animals, Billy must save his world from eternal darkness.
HOW WAS IT?
Hatcher feels so similar to a Sonic game that you might have to check under Billy's rooster suit to make sure he ain't the 'hog in disguise. But instead of speed, the hook is in how you constantly use eggs to attack or solve various puzzles. Nothing in the demo was wildly innovative, but even at this early stage, it's an incredibly solid platformer.
From the folks who brought you Sonic the Hedgehog comes Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg (working title), a bright, cartoony platformer with an eggs-citing twist (sorry, it won't happen again). You play as Billy, a boy in a rooster suit (don't laugh) who sets out to destroy an evil king threatening to steal the sun (hey! we said no laughing!) and send the world into darkness. You might be thinking, "Looks like a kids' game," and, well, it's definitely not gonna attract the Grand Theft Auto crowd. But it is being developed by Sonic Team, whose exceptional platforming pedigree means Billy deserves our attention.
These ain't no run-of-the-mill grade As; each type of egg is supercharged with its own special power. Toss one type to break open walls and access new areas, another to take out enemies, and yet another to gain speed for longer jumps. Each egg also contains a magical creature you can hatch and attack with or enhance your own abilities. Raising your own types of eggs (remember raising Chaos in Sonic Adventure?) opens dozens (oops, it happened again) of other possibilities. High in cholesterol, sure, but possibly a guilty pleasure.