Moorhuhn is a German casual game franchise for PCs and various other platforms. It consists of more than 30 games, the first of which – a shoot 'em up – was Germany's most popular computer game in the early 2000s.[1] The first titles in the series were released as freeware. Since 2003, the games were released as "Crazy Chicken" in English, and some as "Chicken Hunter".

HistoryEdit

Original gameEdit

 
The objective of the first Moorhuhn game was to shoot down as many willow ptarmigans as possible

The original Moorhuhn game (now distributed as Die Original Moorhuhn Jagd) was developed by the Hamburg-based Art Department advertising agency and the Dutch Witan studios as an advertisement for Johnnie Walker whisky in 1998.[2] Imitating the Glorious Twelfth, the game's objective was to shoot down in the Scottish Highlands, through a point-and-click interface, as many cartoonish "swamp chickens" (German: Moorhühner; literally "moorhens", i.e. willow ptarmigans) as possible in 90 seconds. The game was originally known as KippenSchieten and won third place at the Bizarre 98 programmer's meeting.

The game was originally not intended for distribution, but was made available in autumn 1998 to play on laptops in bars by promoters dressed up as hunters.[2] It was since then illicitly copied, and became widely available for download on private websites.[2] The publisher's initial irritation at this subsided after the game received favorable mentions in popular media and demand for it grew. From the beginning of 1999, the game was officially made available for download by Art Department.[2] It became wildly popular in German-speaking Europe, to the point of being denounced in the media as a threat to the bottom line of businesses, on account of the number of hours wasted by employees playing the game.

The game's success spawned a great deal of merchandise, a comic book series, an animated TV series,[3] several motion picture scripts (although no movie was ever made) and a BMG-produced single (Gimme more Huhn by comedian Wigald Boning).[3] It also caused Germany's authoritative Duden dictionary to include the word "Moorhuhnjagd".[1][4]

Successor gamesEdit

In the sequel Moorhuhn 2, the player also has 90 seconds to shoot down chickens to gain as many points as possible, but other animals can be hit as well. Moorhuhn: Winter-Edition is a remake of the second game, set in winter. Moorhuhn 3 ...Chicken Chase takes place by the sea. Moorhuhn X from 2003 takes place in the countryside again, the surroundings are generated in 3D and the chickens perform animated motion sequences instead of simply flying around. Moorhuhn Wanted takes place in a wild west setting, and chicken can shoot the player. Moorhuhn Remake celebrated original the Moorhuhn's fifth anniversary, featuring enhanced graphics and new music.

In the Moorhuhn Invasion, the player shoots at alien chickens that have invaded Earth. Moorhuhn: Approaching is an arcade side-scrolling shooter with 17 levels. Moorhuhn Pirates is a classic shooter again. In modern operating systems most early Moorhuhn games are now unplayable, with the exception of the first game, the second game and the Director's Cut. For these systems, Moorhuhn Deluxe was released on Microsoft Store and Steam, as a remake of Moorhuhn X. Moorhuhn VR is a Moorhuhn X variation for mobile devices, in which players can look around in 360 degrees.

Corporate historyEdit

The developer of these games was Bochum-based company Phenomedia AG, who had acquired Art Department Werbeagentur GmbH (creator of the original game).[2] It went public in late 1999 at the height of the dot-com bubble and attained a market value of up to one billion Euro.[5]

In 2002, the stock value rapidly collapsed after it became known that the company's leaders were under investigation for falsifying balance sheets.[1] Chairman of the Vorstand Markus Scheer and CFO (Finanzvorstand) Björn Denhard, who confessed to the falsifications,[6] were fired.[1] In 2009, they were sentenced by a German court to 46 and 36 months' imprisonment, respectively, for securities fraud and other infractions.[5]

Phenomedia AG underwent insolvency proceedings. Its assets, including the Moorhuhn series, were bought by a successor company, Phenomedia publishing GmbH, which continued to develop Moorhuhn games. The franchise was published by AK tronic GmbH.[5]

List of Moorhuhn gamesEdit

Classic shoot ’em up gamesEdit

Name Release Genre Plattform
Moorhuhn Jagd 1999 Shoot ’em up PC, PS1, GBC
Moorhuhn 2 2000 Shoot ’em up PC, PS1, GBC
Moorhuhn Winter-Edition 2001 Shoot ’em up PC
Moorhuhn 3 ...Chicken Chase 2001 Shoot ’em up PC, PS1, GBC, GBA
Moorhuhn X 2003, 2007 Shoot ’em up PC and PS1 and PS2, NDS
Moorhuhn Wanted 2004, 2018 Shoot ’em up PC, Nintendo Switch
Moorhuhn Remake 2005, 2018 Shoot ’em up PC, Nintendo Switch
Moorhuhn Invasion 2005, 2014 Shoot ’em up PC, Android
Moorhuhn Approaching 2005 Shoot ’em up side-scroller PC
Moorhuhn Pirates 2006, 2012, 2013, 2015 Shoot ’em up PC, NDS and 3DS, iOS, Android
Moorhuhn Director´s Cut 2007, 2013 Shoot ’em up PC, NDS and 3DS
Moorhuhn Deluxe 2009, 2012, 2014 Shoot ’em up iOS, Android, Microsoft Store/Steam and MacOS
Moorhuhn VR 2017 Virtual reality shooter iOS, Android

Other genresEdit

Name Release Genre Plattform
Moorhuhn Kart 1 2002 Racing game PC
Moorhuhn Kart Extra 2003 Racing game PC
Moorhuhn – The Pharaoh's Treasure 2003 Adventure PC
Moorhuhn Kart 2 2004 Racing game PC
Moorhuhn Pinball Vol. 1 2004 Pinball PC
Moorhuhn – Der Fluch des Goldes 2005 Adventure PC
Moorhuhn Schatzjäger 1 2005 Jump ’n’ Run PC
Moorhuhn Mah-Jongg 2006 Mah-Jongg PC
Moorhuhn Soccer 2006 Sport PC
Moorhuhn Schatzjäger 2 2006 Jump ’n’ Run PC
Moorhuhn Kart 3 2007 Racing game PC
Moorhuhn – Juwel der Finsternis 2007 Maze PC
Moorhuhn DS 2007 Various NDS
Moorhuhn Schatzjäger 3 2007 Jump ’n’ Run PC
Moorhuhn – Juwel der Finsternis 2008 Maze NDS
Moorhuhn Fun Kart – 2008 2008 Racing game PS2
Moorhuhn Star Karts 2008 Racing game NDS
Moorhuhn Kart Thunder 2008 Racing game PC
Moorhuhn – The Pharaoh's Treasure 2008 Adventure NDS
Moorhuhn Atlantis 2008 Jump ’n’ Run PC, NDS
Moorhuhn – Das verbotene Schloss 2009 Jump ’n Run Wii
Moorhuhn – Das verbotene Schloss 2010 Jump ’n Run PC
Moorhuhn Jahrmarkt-Party 2010 Various Wii, NDS
Moorhuhn Quest 2010 Various iOS
Moorhuhn Combat 2011 Browser game Browser
Moorhuhn – Der Schatz des Pharao 2012 Puzzle Browser
Tiger & Chicken 2013 Action-Role playing game PC, iPad
Moorhuhn – Der Schatz des Pharao 2014 Puzzle Browser
Moorhuhn schlägt zurück 2016 Strategy PC, iOS, Android
Moorhuhn Knights & Castles 2018 Strategy Nintendo Switch
Moorhuhn UnfairPlay 2018 Board game Browser
Moorhuhn Kart 2019 Racing game iOS, Android
Moorhuhn Kart 2020 Racing game PC, MacOS
Moorhuhn Kart 2 2021 Racing game Nintendo Switch

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Moorhuhn im Sturzflug" (in German). Deutsche Welle. 24 April 2002. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e Stirn, Alexander (19 January 2000). "Geschichte eines Spiels: Moorhuhns Mutter plant Nachwuchs" (in German). Spiegel Online. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  3. ^ a b "Moorhuhnmania - nun auch TV-Serie mit dem Federvieh" (in German). Golem.de. 11 April 2000. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  4. ^ Anonymous. "Duden | Moorhuhnjagd | Rechtschreibung, Bedeutung, Definition, Herkunft". duden.de (in German). Bibliographisches Institut GmbH.
  5. ^ a b c "Bilanzfälschung: Moorhuhn-Manager müssen in den Knast" (in German). Die Zeit Online. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
  6. ^ "Phenomedia: Erste Geständnisse" (in German). Manager-Magazin. 13 May 2002. Retrieved 2009-02-13.

External linksEdit