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Depot Games: Chickens

Current Version:

Project Status: Beta Release

Highest Popularity: #6 during November 2006

Links: Web Site

Category: Puzzle

Developers: Andrei Ellman

Number of Players: 1

Ports: DOS, Linux, Windows

Source Code: Not Available

Author's Description: A puzzle game involving chickens, evil ducks, complicated junctions, and lots and lots of coloured eggs!. It's freely available and downloadable for the PC (Windows, Linux and DOS). It even comes with a built-in level editor so you can make your own levels you can play and share with others.


Chickens is a level-based puzzle-game that gives players a chance to solve problems in a new way. It presents bizarre problems that require bizarre solutions.

The chickens must negotiate their way through a series of complicated spaghetti junctions of pipes (which are controlled by the player) in order to reach the end of the game. Not only do they have to deal with the threat of the evil ducks who are out to get the chickens, but the layout of the pipes also poses a puzzle. The game is divided up into levels, which are subsets of the pipe system. Each level consists of a series of pipes with obstacles, a certain number of chickens at the start, a target (number of chickens that have to reach the exit), and a time limit. The player must solve a problem by sending the target number of chickens to the end of the level within the time limit in order to be allowed access to the next level.

A chicken will die if it encounters a duck and attempts to fight it (and so will the duck it's fighting), or come across a bomb or a dead end. However, they can reproduce by laying eggs, and sending the eggs to the incubators to hatch. To make things difficult, the chickens' eggs come in four different colours (green, red, blue and yellow), and must be guided through the same system of pipes to the correct incubator for that colour in order to hatch. Any egg of the wrong colour trying to enter will be destroyed, along with one egg in the incubator waiting to hatch. The ducks can lay eggs too, and if enough ducks' eggs try to enter the incubator, it will be taken over and become a ducks' eggs incubator. Of course, it can be re-taken by the chickens by sending enough chickens' eggs to the incubator to destroy any remaining ducks' eggs.

Chickens spawn from the entrances on the left (that look like taps), and must reach exit on right. Ducks are placed in the level by the level designer. Additionally, there are ducks' eggs taps at the top that can maintain a constant and steady stream of ducks' eggs (ducks are Mean Green Egg-laying Machines). These are a nuisance, but can sometimes come in handy.

The junctions consist of ordinary pipes, interchanges, command blocks (eg. "Lay Egg"), and other obstacles. The main control the player has over the game is the ability to switch the paths of some of the pipe interchanges by moving the cursor over the interchange and pressing a button, so that the player can guide everything to where they want it to go. The player can also release eggs that are being delayed.

Some of the interchanges have a red pipe running underneath them. If at least one object is passing through this red pipe, the state of the junction changes to it's changed state and does not revert to it's unchanged state until the red pipe is empty again. This makes it possible to construct things like logic-gates out of pipes 'powered' by a stream of ducks' eggs (usually supplied from the ducks' eggs taps). These can be combined to create computational logic circuits such as AND/OR/NOT gates, adding-machines, flip-flops, stack-based calculators, and even a fully fledged Turing-complete machine (although the last two have yet to be implemented), so it should be possible to build a virtual computer that runs entirely off duck's eggs.

There are also a few obstacles (pick-ups) within the level, including bombs, radioactive chicken-feed (which will sterilise any chickens or ducks that eat it), and superhero-costumes (leather jacket and sunglasses) that turn your fowl into SUPERCHICKEN or SUPERDUCK who can then win all fights.
The game comes with an integrated construction-set (level-editor) so you can create and play your own levels, and share them with others.

Note that this is more of an on-going pet-project than a finished game, so it may still be a bit rough and unpolished in places. But you can download it now for free, and enjoy what there is.

Happy egg-laying...


PS. There will be a MacOSX version as soon as someone can compile one.


Name Comments Size Date
chickenslinux-x86- Linux-build (x86-32) (experimental) ( (Old version) 2,229,195 10/11/2011 11:39 AM Windows version ( 2,149,864 04/21/2017 11:13 AM DOS version ( 2,251,924 04/21/2017 11:12 AM

What's New:
• Changes to two of the tunes
• Changed the sound-effect for when losing a level
• Made a few changes to some of the levels in the "Easy group" based on user feedback (read: They're easier).
• 3 new levels
• Enabled triple-buffering
• When setting up the graphics, if it fails, it falls-back to a simpler option instead of exiting.
• Various internal changes, optimizations and bugfixes.
• Sound effects
• Music (the music changes tempo as the game changes tempo and when you're running out of time, the instruments de-tune)
• Enhanced gameplay
- Many new tiles, tile-types and obstacles, enhanced existing tiles and level-paramaters. The 'Easy' group now contains levels that explain all the tile-types.
- Increased various limits - notably the sprite-pool (maximum number of sprites before the taps dry up), which can be specified on a per-level basis.
• Completely redesigned front-end (hopefully, this should be more intuitive).
• Lots of new levels
• Improved construction-set (Level-editor)
- Limited Undo/Redo functionality (does not work with cut and paste).
- It's now possible to re-colour a length of pipe by flood-filling it.
- The carried object is now translucent - meaning it's easier to tell that it's not part of the level.
- The coordinates of the level-square under the cursor are displayed, as well as the level-size and selected-area size.
• Enhanced graphics
- Lots of new animations.
- A background with shadows is drawn.
• Added a 'group-finished' screen (that shows up whenever a group is complete).
• In-game GUI (This helps visualise the available commands without having to remember that they exist)
• Can scroll when a dialog is up (It is possible to scroll a level when a dialog is displayed (eg. the PAUSE dialog). This works in the level-editor as well as the game)
• Runs better on newer Windowses (On Windows Vista / 7, the colours are now no longer messed up, and a few more changes were made to make it run better on these versions of Windows)
• Numerous other bugfixes and enhancements.
* 11 new levels.
* Game: Pressing 'H' during the game brings up a dialog with the level-text and some other pieces of information about the level.
* Game: When playing levels larger than a screen, pressing the keys on the numeric keypad now scrolls the screen in the direction of the number-key relative to the position of the '5' key.
* CSET: Pressing the left mousebutton on the 'type' button (or pressing 5 on the numeric keypad) now cycles the tile-type of the thing currently being carried by the mouse. The old behaviour (bringing up the tile-types menu) is now carried out by pressing the right mousebutton on the 'type'-button.
* Added the ability to save an image of the entire level. Press CTRL-K from either the Game or the Construction-set. The image is saved as chlvimxx.pcx in the directory Chickens was launched from.
* Bugfix: CSET: Add-Borders now deletes exit-tiles if a border was added on the right.
* Bugfix: CSET: If dead-ends are at the edge of a cropped area, the dead-ends at the edge would get deleted.
* And many minor changes...
Many new changes. Improved level editor and an overhaul of the graphics.

The titlescreen
The titlescreen
Public Opinion
Overall Rating: 8.5
  • 9Excellent game. Good idea and style. Quick and flawless programming. Fun. Only few minor things could be improved in this version.
  • 9Already brilliant. New, interesting, with new features, original: this game have a lot of callities. The graphics are the bad part of it... all other are excellent :) !
  • 8Interesting game with potential. I agree, with better graphics this could become an eye opening experience. The level editor is excellent ;)
The Developer
Andrei Ellman
Andrei EllmanMy origins are as follows: I was assembled from spare parts found at the local graveyard by my parents in an overzealous attempt to create a prototype for my sister. Until recently, I was a programmer at Digi-Guys in Ealing, London working as a tools/support programmer on a hybrid game/film project. I am also a keen hobyist programmer. In fact, I once quit my job in the computer games industry so I'd have the time to write my own game - go figure. Before that, I had previously had two full-time programming jobs in the computer games industry. One at Criterion and one at Runecraft. (View Profile)