Issue 53 – Easter 2016

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Cheese Grater Top 5: Soviet Videogames

Chicken Hunt running on period hardware.Chicken Hunt sees the player assume the role of a humble chicken-herd in the upper Caucasus region, scouring the pitifully rendered Soviet landscape in search of two hundred missing hens. The task is arduous, the gameplay is sparse and uneventful. Critic Alexander Mitchyanovka suggested that the game’s ‘stubborn refusal to become anything even remotely close to enjoyable’ ingeniously resembles the ‘aching tedium of real life’, where the ‘belief in a better future is perpetually quelled by the crushing reality of the present.’ It is, however, worth noting that Mitchyanovka’s gloomy stance on ‘real life’ is o en attributed to the fact that his own ‘real life’ was spent solely playing Chicken Hunt, locked in his estranged father’s hunting cabin.* He tragically died before finishing the game, having only succeeded in finding one chicken. I managed it in about forty five minutes.
*It is a matter of intellectual dispute as to whether Mitchyanovka was ever aware of being locked inside the cabin; some scholars suggest he never even tried to open the door, and others suggest he didn’t know it was a door, owing to the doorless nature of his favourite and only pastime. (See Komkachov’s heart-wrenching epic poem ‘No Door to My Heart’ for a refreshingly candid take on the subject.)

Next issue: Number Four - Priklyucheniva bravogo Kevka batrak (The Adventures of Kevka the Good Farmhand)