You may not want to shell out for this one.
Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip is an adorable endless runner where you play as both a baby chick and its unhatched brother. The concept is sound, relying only on two buttons to hop as either the chick or the egg. The siblings are forced apart by their size as they roll across grassy plains and snowy hills, the chick jumping to a higher ledge while its shelled brother rolls down the low path. It really drives home the fact that I am absolutely awful at splitting my attention.
Unfortunately, the game is marred by choppiness and stuttering. I will admit that I am no technical wizard, but Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip feels a tad too simple to have technical issues when the same console played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Splatoon only a month earlier. The Wii U’s bulky controller does the game no favors. There are times when I needed to press the A and B buttons simultaneously, meaning that I had to keep one finger hovering over each button. I ended up leaving the controller resting uncomfortably in my lap as I silently wished for an old arcade setup.
Rolling around at the speed of sound.
In Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip, you control two things: when the egg jumps and when the hatchling jumps. The characters roll across valleys and hills all on their own, only slowing when you bump into a wall. Simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that the game fails to capitalize on anything that might make it stand out, retreading the same ground platformers have already turned into a thorough rut.
The gimmick of Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip quickly wears away as the game begins to feel more and more like every other platformer released in the past three decades. There’s simply not much to it beyond the initial concept. At first, you roll the egg and the chick together until you find a spot where there just isn’t enough room in this town for the two of them. The hatchling flutters to the platform above—at least, assuming the egg doesn’t inadvertently clip onto the ledge with it. Now you have double duty on platforming, and when there are multiple obstacles in each row it quickly becomes a headache. After some time (and a few restarts) you make it past the split and roll along together again. This process repeats throughout the entire game.
The problem with repetition is that it must be satisfying. If a game wants me to do the same thing over and over and over again, it better make damn well sure that I enjoy it. It may be an odd comparison, but consider DOOM 2016. You never really do much but hop around and tear apart demons yet I enjoyed every minute of that game and still crave more. The core gameplay loop was tight enough to keep me enthralled, something that Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip failed to do.
Color by numbers.
The eponymous protagonists of Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip are far less captivating then their designs might suggest. I never got a sense of their purpose or direction, a reason why they’re rolling across dangerous landscapes. Were the two separated from their mother, forced to work together to find their way home? Or were the two a mischievous duo making a daring escape? A Hatch Trip never pretends to have an answer. After checking the game’s official Facebook page, I learned that Eba is protecting its baby sibling from a looming bird of prey. How’s that for hidden lore, Dark Souls?
Looking past the two lovable protagonists, there isn’t much appeal in the art direction of Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip. The game’s backdrops are bland and uninteresting. It attempts a blocky, pixelated aesthetic that Super Mario Bros. and Kirby Super Star perfected, but fails on almost every level. Rather than an intentional stylistic choice, Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip feels limited by the skills of the designer.
Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip is not a bad game. If it were a mobile game, I might even recommend it to fans of Super Mario Run. I just struggle to find a reason that it needed a console release, especially for a console that’s running on its very last fumes. Couple that with stuttering frames, minor-but-frequent glitches, and lackluster backgrounds, and you have a game that feels more like a proof of concept than a full-fledged title.
Final Verdict: 2.5/5
Available on: Wii U(Reviewed); Publisher: Giga Drill Games; Developer: Giga Drill Games ; Players: 1 ; Released: July 20, 2017
Full disclosure: This review is based on a review copy of Eba & Egg: A Hatch Trip given to HeyPoorPlayer by the publisher.