Chariot is a couch co-op title that is perfectly comfortable being what it is. It doesn’t try to do anything overly new or groundbreaking for the platformer genre; it doesn’t introduce some new physics device. It is a simply a platformer that is meant to be played and enjoyed with a friend.
When your father passes from this mortal coil, it is up to you, his only daughter, to lay the old man to rest in a place that is suitable for a king to find his everlasting peace. Of course, this is not the first, second, or even third place you come across. You’ll be dragging, pushing, and riding on top of dear old dad’s coffin all over the catacombs of the kingdom until the appropriate sepulcher can be found. If you’re lucky, maybe you can even convince your fiancee to come along for some help.
In order to navigate through those catacombs, you and your co-op partner will have to rely upon gravity, a little bit of muscle, and your trusty ropes. The king’s coffin - or chariot - can be pushed along the ground, up small steps, and along special platforms that only the chariot can ride along known as “dead rails.” The ropes, which are toggled on and off while pressing the appropriate button, allow players to pull the chariot (and any players that may be hanging on to it) up ledges too big to go up normally, or pull it up to a higher ledge from the ground.
Players can also use the ropes to let the chariot hang freely off the side of a ledge, which allows the other player to freely swing from the other end of it. There are more ways to interact with this inanimate object than one would think is possible from the initial stages, and creative thinking and application of those ways are definitely required in order to get past some of the more challenging scenarios.
The typical level will see you and your co-op partner figuring out how to navigate over, around, and through a series of ledges, ramps, and cliffs as you make your way to the exit. Along the way, you’ll be collecting whatever treasure you can find as well as collectible items like skulls and useful blueprints. Those blueprints can be handed over to a skeletal merchant in between levels. He’ll convert them into useful gadgets that can either be equipped by the heroes, or get attached directly to the chariot for the purposes of overall level progression. The hero gadgets vary greatly in usage and can either provide a direct benefit to a player, e.g., boosting his/her speed temporarily, or allow them to go about approaching the game’s puzzles from a different angle.