Chariot is a puzzle platforming game that originally debuted on Steam, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Yet Chariot is also coming to Nintendo’s Wii U, making it available on all platforms. The game centered on a princess trying to bring her dead father to a worthy tomb filled with gold and other riches. Unfortunately, simply any tomb would not do as the dead king is very picky about where his final resting place should be. The game has players navigating through caverns and whimsical areas collecting gold and other jewels through twenty-five levels of puzzle platforming. What follows is a fun game with a humorous premise that is never fully realized.
On the Wii U the game plays identically to the versions on other platforms. Not much is different to take advantage of the Wii U’s tablet controller, which only mirrors what is happening on the TV screen. A big pull for this game is cooperative play, which the game humorously presents by having the Princess’ fiancé as the second character which could be controlled with another Wii remote. This never fully comes to fruition though as not only can you play through solo, but the game never really encourages you to grab a second player to join in. There are a few sections that require a second player to overcome challenges and obstacles, but these are never mandatory to complete the game. There’s very little incentive to go back into earlier levels and tackle these co-op areas unless you are a completionist type of gamer.
The charm of Chariot comes in its humor and graphical style. Environments look whimsical and stylized, with plenty of diversity in color and layout to each level. The dead king, whose chariot you are moving along each level, has plenty of humorous dialogue throughout the entirety of the game. The king will comment on the scenery, enemies who show up, and even the actions you take when overcoming obstacles and completing levels. It is a fun take that almost breaks the forth wall, but never fully does when you expect it to. At times some of the phrases the king says can be a bit redundant, but only if you repeat an action multiple times in a row.
A missed opportunity for Chariot is the lack of online co-op play. The big push for the game is to have a co-op partner to go through each level. Yet without anyone with you to play locally, going online should be an option to getting the most out of the game.
With no online multiplayer option you will have to resort to simply playing the game solo and missing out on the co-op experience. The game itself does not have a ton of stuff happening on screen that would damper an experience going online, so it is disappointing to not be given such an option.
Chariot is a fun game that anyone could simply pick up and dive into. The overall experience is simple fun that doesn’t become too memorable once you finish it. Having a co-op partner is fun, but it’s only limited to local co-op and is completely absent from the experience if you don’t have anyone around you willing to play.
Online multiplayer could have remedied this, but you’ll have to make due with solo play without a partner around. The stylized graphics and great looking levels are a plus to the experience, but don’t go far enough to excuse the game’s shortcomings. Chariot is definitely worth a play through, but once that is done, its better left alone to rest in peace.
This review of Chariot is based on a digital copy for the Wii U which was provided by Frima Studio.