Mort the Chicken is a casual 3D platformer for the PlayStation console by AndNow. While live on television, a bunch of cubes emerge from a well and kidnap all the chicks under Mort’s care! Instead of fleeing the scene, however, he goes right after the cubes into a parallel dimension to save the little ones!
Released: November 2000
Available on: N/A
Mort the Chicken is not a challenging game, since you don’t have to worry about lives, and you’ll float over the edges of the level rather than fall to your doom, making it a much less stressful game than most other old school games. Despite that, controlling the titular chicken protagonist requires getting used to his slow turning, as he seems to move in a weird mix of free form movement and tank controls. That said, there aren’t many situations in which you need precision to get from one point to another.
For each level you brave through, you must find the captured chicks and then bring them all back to the well you started from. Although they are scattered all throughout the levels, you won’t have a lot of trouble finding them, but you will still need to search every nook and cranny! Avoid getting hit by cubes while chicks are following you, or they will be recaptured and brought back to where you found them. Mort also has a set of moves to aid him in his mission, such as striking with his head and gliding, and he can easily restore his health by eating food.
There are also a bunch of temporary power-ups scattered among the levels, such as spring jumps, size increases, or using your chicks as lethal homing auto-missiles. These effects may come in handy, as they provide better mobility and help you defend yourself against cubes more effectively. Just be sure to stay aware of your surroundings as the cubes you destroyed will respawn and may attack you while you’re down.
Artstyle and Audio
While Mort the Chicken may be too easy (you don’t have to worry about lives!), I believe what makes the game is the level design. Most levels are based on children’s toys such as wooden number blocks, which gives them a joyful and twee feel to explore. There are also other themes, such as castles with green gardens, or snowy peaks with slides, or even juxtaposing wooden blocks with outer space!
The game also includes several optional cut scenes that you can view in between levels, giving you some back story into the game’s events and lots, lots of chicken puns, so your mileage may vary when it comes to humor. The music is a jolly earworm, although the tracks with a lot of chicken clucks weren’t my favorites.
If you’re looking for a short game you can finish in roughly two to three hours that lets you stroll through unique locales, Mort the Chicken is well equipped for the job. The PS1 graphics do add to the charm as well.
However, you shouldn’t expect it to be a remotely challenging game – unless you try to perfect all levels by collecting as many coins as possible. And the puns can either add to the game or kill it – fortunately, you can skip all the cutscenes!