Choking back the urge to 'jam out' to Len's
Steal My Sunshine
, I once again
popped Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
the GameCube. That's right, I've played Billy Hatcher, and you and all
your bully friends can't stop me.
Just kidding - almost anything could stop me from playing Billy Hatcher. "Hey, man, let's play some air hockey" pulled me
away from Billy Hatcher pretty effectively the other night. However, Billy Hatcher does a
respectable job of
being what it is - a sappy kids game. Sonic Team, the developers of Billy
Hatcher, have a well deserved reputation for delivering kids games that everyone
can play. Nights Into Dreams, another Sonic Team creation, was one of the
most unique, yet charming, games of its time.
I was hoping for more of the Sonic Team magic here. At first glance, it
seemed like they've pulled off a real winner, too. The music is
unmistakable - it's very similar to other Sonic Team creations, and this really
raised my hopes. Unfortunately, for all its unique little quirks, Billy
Hatcher and the Giant Egg follows a formula, and it follows that formula just a
little too closely.
goal of the game is very straightforward. Go through a level, get power
ups, find a boss, get rid of the boss. The game differs not in the
formula, but in the play mechanics. To make progress in the levels, you
push around some eggs, and run over fruit. As you run over the fruit, the
eggs get bigger, and finally, you can break open the eggs to reveal a
"power up" - an animal that will help you.
There's a dedicated "cluck" button as a result of this absurdity.
You're in a rooster suit. Yeah, it's all just a little too
Unfortunately, that's not the only problem with the game. They've added
physics to how the eggs move. You must push the eggs, and it can, at
times, be difficult to maneuver the eggs around. There's also the
frustration of jumping with the egg. It can be difficult to get the hang
of bouncing with the eggs. Once you get used to the controls, it's not so
bad, but there are a few places where you'll find yourself egg-less at the wrong
So, Billy Hatcher is definitely a kid's game. The graphics are
painfully cute, the concept is sufficiently odd, and the music is fun and
adventuresome. The question is, will kids play it? I think that some
will. I don't think I'd buy it for my kid though. I don't know that
I can recommend the game, honestly. Billy Hatcher manages to be
quirky.... But not quite fun. I give Billy Hatcher and the Giant
Egg a 6/10.