The story behind Chuckie Egg – a 17-year olds dream turned into reality
These days the arcade games industry has been completely saturated with big name companies that have been around since the dawn of video games way back in the early 70’s, making it relatively difficult for smaller startups to make a name for themselves amongst the masses. Though this wasn't how it always was, back in the 'Golden age of computer games' when everything was up in the air and open for anyone with knowledge, interest and access to a basic computer system to get involved in. In fact one of the most popular platform game titles of the 1980's was designed by a 17 year old budding software developer.
Chuckie Egg never made it into the dimly lit arcade centers, but was owned by almost every gamer with a ZX Spectrum, Atari or Amiga console. It is a simple game with basic controls consisting of direction movements and a jump button; looking back Chuckie Egg's game-play was almost identical to the first Donkey Kong title and the ever popular Space Panic game. These days it is championed as a classic gaming title among enthusiasts and stands proud alongside various other games of the same genre, such as Load Runner and Manic Miner, all of which helped set the standards for future platform games. Chuckie Eggs storyline was simple to say the least; you play the character 'Hen House Harry' an excitable fellow who has to run, jump and climb his way through various challenging levels collecting 12 eggs before the timer runs down. The background is made up of solid platforms, sometimes connected by ladders and an occasional upward moving platform for extra challenge; amidst all of this are a number of ducks which you must dodge or else lose a life.
The history behind the saga
The real story behind Chuckie Egg's rise to fame is a little blurry, but one thing is for sure it was the work of 17 year old Nigel Alderton who at that time was working in the lunch room shop at 'A and F Software' a respected game and computer application development company. Also an amateur software designer himself, Nigel decided to take a chance and spring his unfinished 'Chuckie Egg' game on the company's programmers who at first were amused by this kid’s confidence, but was impressed by what they saw. Shortly after Nigel teamed up with a handful of programmers to put the final touches on his creation and it was finally released in 1983 on 3 popular games consoles, before being ported to a wide range of others later down the line.
The game was well received by the public and two years later in 1985 the A and F Software Company released a follow up to the original, simply called 'Chuckie Egg 2'. This new title had similar game-play except the theme had radically changed. The story is based around a chocolate egg factory where the character 'Harry' has to collect and put together the right ingredients for to put into the machine while avoiding dangerous obstacles and man eating spiders.
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