Chicken Scramble is a brand new app for iOS that draws inspiration from the popular 2048 puzzle game. Instead of swiping up, down, left or right to merge numbers, you start out by merging eggs until they hatch into chickens. The game is broken down into levels as well, so when you gather enough chickens, you move on to the next round which progressively introduces new features and obstacles. Free with in-app purchases, Chicken Scramble is now live in the App Store.
When you start off in level one of Chicken Scramble, you might get the impression that this game is ridiculously simple. Since it has very small levels, the goal is not to keep swiping on the grid for 10-15 minutes until it fills up. Merge two eggs to create a cracked egg, merge two cracked eggs to create a hatched chick, then merge those two to create a chicken. You'll need two to get through level one. It's ridiculously simple, but if you have experience with these types of games, you know it's only going to get more entertaining, albeit more difficult, from here.
Later on in the game you come across interesting new twists. In some levels, boulders appear at random places in the grid requiring you to maneuver around them to merge two items. In others, merging over a flower patch will double the amount of chickens you create. Even further in the game, you won't even have to collect chickens, but rather haystacks that are pushed together by two chickens.
While there are no ads in Chicken Scramble, the game has two major in-app purchase options. The first is for health. If you quit a level while it's in session or you run out of moves for that level, you lose a life. You get up to five and they will refill themselves over time for free, but if you run out of lives and don't want to wait for a refill, forking over some real money is your only choice.
The game's form of currency is gold. Gold allows you to buy power-ups to ease the pain of some of the more difficult levels. At the start, you get two power-ups and five uses of each: an undo button that will go back in time by one move, and very shortly after a claw for removing obstacles in the grid like the aforementioned boulders. (More advanced levels unlock a third power-up as well.) If you run out of these power-ups, spend gold to acquire a new set. Real money enters the equation if you run out of gold, in which case purchases ranging from $0.99 to $49.99 will get you more.
Gameplay in Chicken Scramble is seriously exciting. I was enjoying the game so much that I actually started forgetting to take screenshots of what was happening for this review. Performance is solid, the graphics are just delightful and the game, like 2048, can get pretty addictive. In regards to that comparison, Chicken Scramble is more than unique enough to stand on its own and has huge potential to become the next big iOS game.