Review: Chariot

Chariot Logo

Chariot is a story about a princess who is tasked with laying her father’s remains in his final resting place. Her fiancé has agreed to help her with this task. Together they must guide the heavy chariot holding the king’s remains through underground mazes in order to reach a sepulcher that is fit for a king.

However, the king’s ghost, bound to the chariot, has quite a temper and insists that he be buried with vast wealth. As the couple tunnels deeper underground, they’ll have to stray off the main path in order to obtain said hoard of loot.

30 Second Review

+ Beautiful world

+ Inventive blend of platforming and physics-based puzzles

+ Great game mechanics and controls

– Can be played in single player, but that isn’t recommended

– The king propels the story but isn’t likable–feels like a mistep

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Notable Features

  • Extract riches from the very walls of the caves in multiple environments
  • Skill-testing coordination mechanics
  • Thrilling physics-based stunts
  • Will definitely please couch co-op enthusiasts, as teamwork and cooperation unlock new possibilities

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Your Chariot Awaits

Chariot is proof that you do not have to have the most insane graphical hardware in order to make a lovely game. The game is immersive not only in the scenery, but also with its gameplay and controls. It is an absolute treat to play with someone else.

The controls and physics make absolute sense. Though it doesn’t have a tutorial, it does have billboards in the background that help you familiarize yourself with the controls when you come to new segments of gameplay, much in the same way that Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams approached the concept.

The only complaint I had about the billboard system is that I didn’t come across an L shoulder button alert. You have a rope that you can pull the chariot with at times. Sometimes you will want to draw the slack in on the rope. In order to do this, you have to hold down the L button on the Wii U GamePad. If there was a billboard for this technique, I was completely oblivious and missed it. However, I mashed buttons until I figured it out.

Chariot has a very detailed map. In fact, it is so detailed that you can even see objects on the map that you’ll want to acquire. In most cases, I’d say it is too much hand holding and unwarranted, but with this game I’ll make an exception. The level design in Chariot is incredibly long, almost to the point that the levels are too long. I was averaging about 20 to 25 minutes per level. This detailed information on the map was a great help in order to progress out of these levels a little more swiftly.

The combination of platforming and physics is very clever. When playing with another person, Chariot truly shines and will be a great bonding couch co-op experience. You will have to work together and communicate in order to overcome the 2 player required obstacles.

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Chariot Has Some Uphill Battles

The campaign in Chariot can be completed in single player. However, you will not be able to attempt any of the 2 player obstacles. Also, not having someone to stay behind with the king’s ride will be super annoying. You’ll be sent back to the last checkpoint if you become separated or travel too far away from it. There are puzzle elements throughout the game that are exponentially easier to accomplish with two people working together. Even I experienced moments of aggravation and frustration when playing alone. My advice: if you can, avoid playing this title by yourself. That may prove difficult, though, since it has no online play features and is couch co-op only.

The driving story component of Chariot is that you are delivering the king to his final resting place. There are times where I just jumped off the casket and walked away till the game forced me into a checkpoint reset. The king isn’t likable; in fact, he’s pretty despicable. What drives you to want to finish this game? If you don’t care about the main story component, what do you do? There are times that I intentionally parked under looter monsters and allowed them to steal all the loot from the king just so I could listen to him cry, whine, and complain that the looters were stealing everything. This game is suppose to be about collecting as much treasure as you can, which is the opposite of what I found myself doing at times. Spiteful, I know. On the other hand, the skeleton merchant in Chariot is a much more likable character. Can I just abandon the king at the shop and progress through the game trying to help the skeleton? I think I’d enjoy that experience a little bit more.

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Bring Your Own Friends

Chariot is a fun diversion as long as you have someone with whom to play couch co-op. If your only experience with this game will be in single player, then you may find the gameplay more aggravating and frustrating than what was intended. The game was designed to be played with two players in mind. Just be prepared and approach with caution if you’re going solo.

Chariot is available for digital download on the Nintendo eShop for $14.99. The pricing is a little high for what it is; you may want to wait until it’s on sale for $9.99 or lower. Even though my experience with this title was on the Wii U, it is also available on Steam, XBox One, and PS4.