Most people may not know it, but this little game has a bit of history behind it. Around Christmas of 2006, Nintendo of Europe launched a website with a Christmas-themed platform game that could only be played for a limited amount of time. It was quite well liked, so a few months later, developer tons of bits created another game based around Easter called chick chick BOOM. Quite a while after that went offline, tons of bits announced that they were licensed for WiiWare, and so now, three years later, here we are!
As you can imagine, this version of chick chick BOOM is, at its most basic, largely unchanged from the online version. In case you never got to play it, it's quite simple: two teams of five little chicks fight each other for no apparent reason. You take control of one side and have to launch attacks against the other while simultaneously defending their strikes, picking up items and taking advantage of special timed attacks.
Your main forms of attack are bombs, weights, and carnivorous plants. Selecting any of these will make a "connect the dots"-type puzzle come up, which you will have to trace as fast as possible. Once fully traced, you can then launch said attack any time you want — when your opponent is distracted, for instance.
That's all there was to the original version, but on WiiWare things are a bit more complicated. The faster you trace the outline, the more powerful the attack will be. If you manage to do it at near max speed (as signified by a number up to 100), a coloured target will begin to rotate around the attack's image; if you manage to press the B button on or around its center, the attack you're about to launch will be upgraded to include some additional features that can be hard to dodge.
To protect against the opponent's attacks and assist your own, you also have the ability to draw lines across the battlefield. They can't be very long as you only have a limited amount of "ink," but when placed correctly they can completely stop an enemy attack and thus prevent any harm done to your chicks. Likewise, you can craftily draw on the opponent's side of the battlefield right before you think they will draw their defensive line. If you timed it right, their drawing will be interrupted by your line, thus preventing them from defending, as their ink has to recharge.
You and your opponent take turns attacking each other with your primary means, but every now and then you'll also be able to attack at the same time. Keep a close eye on the levels' background: when things like lightning clouds, UFOs or sea monsters begin to appear, a special attack button becomes available, and it's then a race between players as to who can draw the outline first. Don't be too hasty with the lightning clouds, though; they'll hover from one side of the field to the other, and as such you should only use them when they're on your opponent's side.
Every now and then, there are two positive items players can battle over. If the "Corncobman" pops up in the background, both players can shoot at him to get precious corn kernels, which will restore a small amount of health to chicks that come in contact with them. There is also a piñata in the top center of the screen that fills up as either side takes damage. Once it's full, it'll drop down in the center for both players to shoot — it'll bounce towards the side of whoever hits it, so it can become almost like a tennis match as both sides shoot it back and forth. When it lands on one side of the field, one of the chicks there will get one of a number of different hats, which do things like temporary defence increases, dodge attacks, or give temporary health regeneration.
Although a multiplayer game at its core, and thus best played with friends, chick chick BOOM has a number of different modes and things for single players. Aside from the straightforward Duel where you battle for more wins, you can also try your hand at Time and Pro modes.
In Time mode, you have a limited amount of time to knock out as many of each other's constantly replaced chicks as possible, with the person knocking out the most winning. Pro Mode is potentially endless: your opponent's chicks are constantly replaced while yours aren't, and the goal is to simply knock out as many as you can before being wiped out yourself.
There's also a form of achievements, as the game allows you to play as 15 different teams of chicks. You've only got five at the start, and the others must be unlocked by meeting certain different goals. They offer no difference other than a visual one, but it can be fun to try and unlock them all. Be warned though: the AI plays absolutely perfectly and will make unlocking certain teams a living hell.
The game goes for a cartoony visual style which goes well with the wacky action, and it also has a similarly upbeat and wacky soundtrack.
It was a pretty simple game before, but tons of bits has turned chick chick BOOM into a very hectic and enjoyable download title. If you plan on playing multiplayer it's a no-brainer, but even solo players will find a good deal of entertainment here. Now let's hope they plan on retooling their other game for WiiWare as well!