Chariot is a beguiling mix of somber tones and joyful fun. I concede that carting a casket hither and thither on the hunt for a suitable sepulcher to place the sassy spirit of your father, the king, doesn’t initially sound all that appealing. Frima Studio have made something that oozes charm, has a fetching art style and audio direction, and is a solid 2D platformer. The main trail through the 25 levels has an accommodating difficulty ramp that gradually asks more from the players to make it through and smartly relegates the more difficult stuff to optional or two player only areas. Chariot is decidedly a couch co-op experience at its core. I was lucky enough to have my brother home for the holidays to join me in my quest for the perfect sepulcher and while it wasn’t the longest adventure, it was a blast for us both.

This here's one sassy ex-monarch.

This here’s one sassy ex-monarch.

The playable characters, the king’s daughter and her stalwart fiance, can defend themselves with simple sword swings and rock throws respectively, and have a jump that feels familiar. Both of them feel suitably weighted, without feeling too heavy. Their mission is a daunting one: transport the chariot containing the king’s coffin to a suitable place to rest for the rest of time. The gameplay is made up of using ropes and various other gadgets and chariot upgrades to transport the thing to victory. It’s significantly easier to navigate with the assistance of another person, but completely doable on your own. Along the way it is imperative to use the chariot to collect as much treasure and gold as possible to honour the last wish of the King. To be buried with a vast horde of gold. The loot won’t pay any mind to the plucky heroes as they bound and jump their way through the depths. Along the way there will be paths that are exclusive to both the chariot and the heroes.

Having to figure out how to finagle the chariot around the myriad obstacles to get all the glittery goodies and reach the goal is a lovely take on the puzzle platformer. You have to consider your position, momentum and the need to remain in nearly constant contact with a coffin on wheels; things can get interesting. Ropes can be anchored or disengaged at will with the press of a button. Along the main path, this sometimes degrades into brute forcing some puzzles, I’m almost embarrassed to admit at how often that solution won the day. Looters occasionally try to jack the loot, but with the sling and sword, and the thieves singular devotion to obtaining said loot, they’re not the most imposing threat.

Chariot is a pretty, pretty game.

Chariot is a pretty, pretty game.

Even when I would have a go at Chariot on my own, it was a mostly fun experience. Frima Games made the direct through-line of levels relatively straightforward, and stuffed most of the difficult platforming and puzzles off the beaten path or behind sections that require two players and boast the most treasure.The beautiful levels and the toe tappingly enjoyable soundtrack really helped up the fun factor. The voice acting in particular was a high point for me, being consistent, well delivered and sufficiently cheeky. A wonderful counter to the grim task at hand. Similarly, the animations are great. Be sure to take note of your heroic twosome every time the King berates their paltry offerings of treasure or burial site.

But the co-op, in this case local co-op, is where Chariot truly comes into its own. It’s clearly intended as the way to play the game. The environmental puzzle built for two off the beaten path can actually get sort of strenuous. Chariot totally functions and is fun by your lonesome, but a great deal of options aren’t present alone and the often hilarious back and forth that comes from two people controlling the direction of the coffin thing isn’t there either.

The eternal struggle.

The eternal struggle.

While not an entirely new release, Chariot might be one of my favourite and most worthwhile additions to the Nintendo eShop on Wii U in quite some time. It’s a splendid little platforming adventure loaded with engaging environmental puzzles, dark humour and for $15 it’s a great deal. The slant towards co-op might dissuade some people from giving Chariot a go, but it’s a worthwhile game to pick up even if you only ever intend to play it alone. The attention afforded to the details of both the production values and the execution of the mechanics is fantastic. There weren’t really any real unique aspects of the Wii U release of Chariot, but the game does feature off screen play on the GamePad and it’s a pretty great way to play the game.

Oh, and there’s a high five button. So, there’s that.

Chariot Review
The hilarity that ensues from two people first beginning their adventure together and trying to cooperatively move the chariot is something unique. It breeds a ridiculous kind of chaos that I really appreciate and shares a place among other great couch co op games like Mount Your Friends and Nidhogg. Chariot is a game with an arresting visual identity, engaging mechanics and while it won't change the world, is well worth your money and time
The Good Stuff
  • Good looking game.
  • I loves me so local co-op!
  • high five button.
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Sizeable chunk locked away for two players only.
  • King refuses to return my high fives.
8Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Evan T
Editorial/Reviews Writer

Evan is a super serious, real life production assistant, video editor, and current review and editorial writer for Gamer Assault Weekly. A failed knife salesman and former member of a prestigious World of Warcraft guild, renowned for his voice and childlike enthusiasm for video games. Has never broken a bone. Hates possums. Mumble-sings.