chick chick BOOM is a what you get if you put Worms and Angry Birds in a blender. The resulting squishy mess, spiced with a bit of Plants vs. Zombies and a decidedly Nintendo-aesthetic, will get you most of the way to understanding this game.
Your goal is to destroy five enemy "chicks" while protecting your own. The battlefield is just two adjacent yards, separated by a high fence. Over this fence you can drop or lob your three main weapons: a grenade, a heavy weight, and a chick-eating plant. The grenade has a timer, allowing your opponent a few seconds to freak out at the impending explosion. The weight falls from the sky in true ACME style, while the plant has a DOT-effect, biting away at each chick as it comes in range.
You don't have direct control over your chicks. They just bounce around like rubber balls (of which they bear more than a passing resemblance). Instead, you can draw lines on the battlefield with the Wii remote to set up defensive objects. These last only a few seconds, and must be timed perfectly. For example, if the other team sends a bomb into your yard, you have a few second to draw a line around it, deflecting the blast away from your chicks. If the plant gets dropped in, you can draw a line straight up from it and it will attach itself like a vine. Once it can no longer bite your team, it withers and dies.
Although the action is ostensibly turn-based, this line defense aspect keeps the defending player involved in the action. Even then, the attacking player can sabotage the defensive lines with lines of their own. This ups the pace considerably, making timing paramount.
If you're attacking, there's more to each attack than just picking a weapon and watching it fly. After selecting your weapon of choice, a short mini-game is activated where you have to draw a design in a kind of connect-the-dots fashion. How quickly you do this determines the strength of the weapon.
Honestly, I found this part of the game borderline annoying, and a little cumbersome. This may be because it throws off the pacing of the game, or maybe because I wasn't very good at it. Either way, even if you're deft enough with the Wii remote to trace the design quickly, another mini-game is enabled where you shoot at a target that's rapidly rotating around the weapon. If you nail it just right, only then is your weapon upgraded. If it sounds a little confusing, know that you get used to it pretty quickly while playing. I never got to the point of enjoying this part, though.
The upgrades are pretty cool. The first level of bomb upgrade, for example, leaves acid on the ground, further damaging enemy chicks. The next/top level upgraded bomb explodes, doing damage before releasing two smaller bombs, which then explode and do more damage.
Each map has an additional special attack that when enabled does significant damage to your enemy. This could be a UFO that abducts a chick, lightning that arcs between the chicks, a sea monster that swipes away with his tentacles, or ghosts that siphon health. Each of these can be upgraded as well. You need to go through the same drawing/shooting mini-games to activate these special attacks, and against the computer I was almost always the recepient, never the giver. Maybe you'll have more luck.
The biggest issue with chick chick BOOM is there's only three maps and they're all exactly the same layout. Once you've played them a couple of times, there really isn't much new to keep your attention. Sure there's a timed mode and pro mode where you try to last as long as you can, but these offer only marginal variation over the basic format. Developer Tons of Bits tries to keep things interesting with unlockable outfits for your team, but these are cosmetic changes only.
On the other hand, if you treat the basic game as merely training for playing against your friends, things get a lot more interesting. Multiplayer is where chick chick BOOM truly shines, as you're far more likely to be able to win the drawing mini-games against a human than you are against the computer. So instead of always being attacked by lightning or a UFO, occasionally you can subject your friends to these attacks instead. There's a savage enjoyment watching someone else's chicks get bitten by a plant while they struggle to draw a straight line.
While I wish for more variety in the maps, overall chick chick BOOM is entertaining and rather addictive. For only 800 Wii points, it's hard not to recommend if you're having some friends over who are entertained by cartoon explosions.
And honestly, who isn't?