Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Alfred Chicken", 1993.

Mascot syndrome strikes hard and fast from the '90s: Look, we really don't care about being cool -- isn't that a kind of cool?
Are You Ready To Play The Ultimate Game of Chicken?

"A Hero For The Nineties" - Electonic Games
Available for the NES, SNES, & GameBoy

Alfred Chicken is the hottest new game to hit your video game system! Get ready for non-stop egg-citement with Alfred Chicken, the hero of the '90s!

Egg-splore five way out worlds and warp space!

You'll face uncertain danger as you guide Alfred along his menacing journey to rescue his kidnapped egg buddies from the evil Meka Chickens and thwart their plot for World Domination.

Fight your way through some of the most bizarre worlds imaginable. Make mincemeat out of Meka Chickens and dodge their deadly traps.

You've played other heroes, now try something with some real challenge! If you're looking for non-stop excitement and thrills-a-plenty, look no further 'cause Alfred Chicken is here!

Secret passages, extra lives, hidden rooms and puzzles!

For an Alfred message call
1-800-ALFREDC

To be fair, I'm confident (read: I have no idea) what happened is that some friends made a tech demo that somehow got picked up and the publisher decided to run with the temporary assets. (The name screams "placeholder art".) That left them in a bind trying to determine how to sell it. Quickly-tedious "egg" puns? Check! Reference to the incoherent plot? Got it! Vague comparison to other games? Roger that! Once again, I gather the copywriter didn't actually play the game, since it's quite weak on details. (The screenshot caption tells me that the game contains both secret passages AND hidden rooms.)

Ultimately the angle I think they ran with is "will appeal to Mom & Dad, terrified by Mortal Kombat, as totally gormless and without any offense potential whatsoever. Good, clean fun with the first and third optional." This game may have been fun (screenshots suggest similarities to fellow travelers such as Robocod, Zool, or Trolls) but the marketing effort is managing to simultaneously do too much and too little. (Wonder what clucking you heard when you called that phone number! Apparently they also ran a man in a chicken costume for European Parliament. Guys, this ARG isn't going anywhere.)