Now that Easter’s finally here we can come out and show our love and appreciation for eggs. Eggs are great. Eggs are fantastic. Am I right? Of course I am. And what’s better than eggs combined with gaming? Nothing, that’s what.
So here we go, five of our all-time favourite games involving eggs that you can play while you scoff down potentially life-threatening amounts of chocolate.
This game is incredibly good. To look at it, you’d think it was intended for a younger audience with its pleasing, cartoonish graphics and its delightfully chipper soundtrack, but don’t be fooled: Toki Tori offers a stiff challenge – which only makes victory all the more sweet when you finally clear a level that’s been troubling you for ages.
In Toki Tori you play as a chick called Toki Tori, whose goal is to collect the eggs scattered throughout each level. As you progress you’ll get to use many different tools, such as the crate creator and the telewarp. What starts off simple soon becomes mind-bendingly tricky as you attempt to work out how to reach each egg on the stage. The gradual introduction of tools creates a balanced learning curve, building up to some eggscruciatingly difficult puzzles in the later stages of the game.
Toki Tori and its sequel Toki Tori 2+ can be purchased on Steam for $4.99/£3.49 and $14.99/£11.99 respectively.
Spyro the Dragon
The next game on the list is rather an old one from back on the original PlayStation. Developed by Insomniac Games in 1998, Spyro the Dragon was ground-breaking for the time. Brilliant graphics, a varied and catchy soundtrack and incredible platforming gameplay made Spyro the Dragon a hit, leading it to become one of Activision’s longest-running and more popular series. This is the game that spawned Skylanders – need we say more?
How is this relevant to Easter you say? Well, we’ll tell you. In Spyro the Dragon you had to find gems, dragons and eggs. Dragon eggs, to be precise. All of them were stolen by egg thieves and Spyro is out to rescue them from their clutches. There are twelve eggs in total that have to be saved, along with other treasures, so that Spyro can progress to other worlds with the aid of the balloonist, Spyro’s method of travelling the Dragon Realms (he can’t fly because he’s a baby).
Despite being a 3D platformer released during the genre’s nascent years, Spyro the Dragon has actually stood the test of time pretty well thanks to some well-considered level design and sylized art which means its graphics haven’t dated half as badly as some other games on Sony’s original console.
If you want to be the envy of all your friends then we recommend dusting off the old PS1 and playing Spyro old-school. But if you don’t have a PS1, then it’s also available for purchase on the PlayStation Store for $5.99/£3.99.
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg
On the face of it, Billy Hatcher looks like a 3D platformer. But it isn’t. In fact, trying to pin Sonic Team’s game down into one genre is rather tricky. It has platforming elements, sure – but it’s also a puzzler and 3D adventure. Some sections even have you flying through levels in a manner which is reminiscent of Saturn classic NiGHTS into Dreams.
Gameplay in Billy Hatcher is centered on rolling eggs through the game’s levels. As you roll them over fruit, the eggs will grow larger and eventually hatch, bestowing Billy with power-ups or helpers that will assist you in each stage. You can also throw the egg at enemies, or slam it into the ground after a jump. The graphics have that typical Sega feel to them – all bright skies and bold colors – while the soundtrack is wonderfully catchy.
Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg is something of a flawed gem. While the levels are well-designed, the gameplay is varied and the presentation is pure SEGA, issues with the game’s controls and an awful camera take the shine off the experience. It’s still well worth a play, however – either through hunting down the original release on Gamecube or by finding a copy of the Windows port, which was released back in 2006.
There’s nothing quite like Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg, and it’s a shame that SEGA never released a sequel (though Billy himself does appear in other SEGA games, such as Sonic All-Stars Racing). Mind you, considering how bad recent Sonic games have been, perhaps it’s for the best.
Yoshi’s Island DS
Yoshi’s Island DS was released on (you guessed it) Nintendo DS back in 2006. A sequel to Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island on the SNES, the DS game rounds out the cast of babies that Yoshi carries to include Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong and Bowser. Each baby confers different abilities on Yoshi – Baby Peach lets him hover in mid-air, Baby Mario lets him dash, while Baby Donkey Kong lets him swing on vines.
Yoshi’s Island DS retains the same crayon aesthetic as the SNES original, and despite the relatively low challenge, plenty of secrets and collectibles means that the game should last you a fair while if you aim to grab every last coin and master every level. It’s a shame that the gap between the two screens on Nintendo’s handheld can sometimes obscure enemies or hazards, but other than that, Yoshi’s Island DS is a damn fine homage to the original. It’s also a far better game than the woeful Yoshi’s New Island on 3DS, which suffered from bland level design and an irritating soundtrack.
If you don’t have a DS or 3DS, you can now experience Yoshi’s Island DS on Nintendo’s Virtual Console, so short of picking up a copy of the original SNES release or its Gameboy Advance port, the DS version is your best bet if you want to play a decent Yoshi game – at least until Yoshi’s Woolly World comes out later this year on Wii U.
Developed by Codemasters and released on the Spectrum ZX, Commodore 64 and Amiga back in 1990 and later ported to DOS, the Atari ST and Amstrad CPC, Magicland Dizzy puts you in control of Dizzy – a living, breathing egg. This is the ultimate in Easter gaming.
Magicland Dizzy is actually the sixth game in the series, but for our money it remains the best. Your goal in the game is to save Dizzy’s six friends (also eggs, called Yolkfolk) who are under the spell of the evil wizard Zaks (sadly not an egg). This is the same wizard that Dizzy defeated in the previous game Fantasy World Dizzy. Dizzy has to navigate through a maze in order to rescue his friends who are imprisoned by various magical spells.
Despite being 25 years old, Magicland Dizzy is a challenging platformer that will test your skill – so you might want to make use of the save function in DOSbox. You have three lives and a health bar, but this will do little to help you from failing miserably until you eventually figure out what you’re supposed to be doing.
You can play the DOS port of Magicland Dizzy by downloading it here and running it via an emulator like DOSbox. Technically it’s classed as abandonware – though we should note that the legal status of abandonware is something of a grey area.
Here’s a video of Youtube MonkeySpaz5000 playing the Amiga version, complete with commentary in a thick Scottish accent.
Have we missed any egg-themed favorites of yours? Let us know in the comments.