Chicken Shift

As a fan of both the Internet and video games, I thought I should check out the Internet Archive’s Internet Arcade to see what it’s all about. They have an overwhelming selection of games, but for my first, I chose Chicken Shift, because it’s about chickens and it has a pun in the title (which is also about chickens, or at least their excrement). Chicken Shift was released in 1984 by Bally Sente.

As it turns out, this is a puzzle game of sorts — and a damn good one at that. The player controls a series of moveable “elbow” chutes that must be toggled as eggs continuously fall from chickens at the top of the screen. If the player does his job, these “elbows” send the rolling eggs into a basket at the bottom of the screen.

You know, this reminds me of the summer that I spent at Derek Cooper’s ranch out in San Bernardino collecting his chicken’s infertile eggs. It was there that I learned the value of hard work, and that was how I made enough money to buy my first synthesizer. This, of course, helped me achieve a moderate amount of success as the back-up melody section in a local Amish Goth band called the Barn Razors. The concept of the band didn’t make a whole lot of sense, so we inevitably fizzled out before our star had ever shone. Still, those were good times indeed.

It was also at the old Cooper ranch that I met Sally Tenuda, a local baker’s daughter and Squash Queen of the Mount Vernon state fair. She was a fair-skinned maiden that walked with an atrocious limp, but I loved her all the same. It didn’t help that for some reason her family, Greek by happenstance, raised her to only speak Italian. But we made it work somehow.

She would later go on to invent some sort of a method for mashing potatoes in a microwave. Nice girl.

Like my time in San Bernardino, I enjoyed playing Chicken Shift. I suggest giving it a whirl; it’s a solid and rewarding puzzler, and it’s free. Much like the cider at the Cooper ranch. But I digress.

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