What is seemingly a simple idea of solving puzzles whilst getting from A to B in a platformer environment, Chariot can quickly turn into a very challenging, yet satisfying experience with a strange but unique narrative. Enjoyable even as a solo playthrough, Chariot is a game that needs to be played with a mate for its full potential.
Once upon a time, the father of a young princess passes away, so instead of burying him in the back garden, the princess and her fiancé shoved him in a casket, loaded him onto a chariot and set off to find the perfect resting place. Starting off relatively simple, you learn the basics of dragging the chariot through easy to navigate terrain, which is good because you’ll soon find the levels get ridiculously difficult (or I’m just terrible…) – you decide.
On your travels, you’ll come across different coloured jewels that represent the game’s currency, which can be used to buy gadgets and other goodies from the shop after each level. Gadgets are used to aid you in your quest such as the peg, a tool that allows you to anchor the chariot on the ground so it doesn’t roll away whilst you’re doing something else. The repulsor allows you to give the chariot a boost in momentum – especially good for navigating up steep hills and such.
As the game progresses, you’ll come across certain obstacles which promote a bit of serious thought instead of simply dragging the chariot to your hearts content, for example there’s some walls and floors that only you can go through, thus the chariot needs to go an alternative route but you can only progress by having the chariot with you when you reach the end of a level. You see my point?
Whilst there’s the physical obstacles you must pass, every so often you’ll encounter enemies – most common are bats, which tend to attack you in groups and love to steal your well-earned jewels. They’re certainly irritating but no enemy can actually kill you, they just steal everything you have so it’s advised to quickly dispose of them or get away from them as soon as possible.
Chariot has a nice visual style that has obvious retro influence but maintains a modern vibe that both older and new gamers should be able to enjoy. This combined with a cute soundtrack makes for a charming overall experience. Although the game is quite short, there’s plenty to do afterwards such as finding all the collectibles and trying to beat each level under a certain time limit as speedrunning is encouraged in a game such as this.
This isn’t a game for everyone but if you’re a fan of great platforming, well-thought our puzzles and humorous characters, Chariot is a must-buy.
Available On: PS4 / Xbox One / Wii U / Windows PC