For instance, one gadget allows a player to affix their end of the rope to a wall/floor/ceiling. That last option is the key part to this gadget, as being able to create a fixed point from which the chariot hangs creates a grapple point that players can use to cross from one side of a pit to another. This particularly came in handy while attempting to solve one of the game’s many co-op puzzles. These areas are entirely optional and need not be completed at all in order to beat the game, but they add a great deal of challenge for the co-op team looking to see and do it all.
Physics-based puzzle platformers can be a very tricky game type to get down. If the physics are too loose, or too realistic, players find themselves battling those mechanics more than they find themselves just playing and enjoying the game. Chariot, for the most part, uses its physics in a way that is predictable and fun; it feels like it has an appropriate weight, which is key when it comes to figuring out how to get up a particular ledge and down another.
In one of those co-op areas, my co-op partner and I had to traverse across three small ledges in order to carefully manipulate the chariot in between two of them in such a way that it would attract a nearby gem into it (just to get more treasure). After some trial and error, I was able to swing from the chariot onto the second ledge, but the chariot was hanging off the wrong side of the ledge and my co-op partner still had to get to the third ledge. She eventually realized that if she hung off one side of the chariot while I pulled it up onto the ledge and I went off the correct side, we could get the chariot in the correct position and I could then try to swing from the chariot to the 3rd ledge (something I was better at doing). These co-op areas really highlight the physics-based puzzle elements of the game while at the same time showing off how the cooperative nature of the game.
Up until this point, I’ve been talking about the game in strictly co-op terms for a reason: that’s how the game feels like it should be played. The puzzles and challenges in the levels can be tackled alone, albeit with perhaps a little more difficulty than with another player (sometimes literally) in tow, and none of the key parts of the game, like the blueprints or exits, are walled off behind a “co-op only” section. One person can play through the game by his or herself, but they’d be missing out on a good portion of the fun. Dragging a dead guy’s coffin through a bunch of levels on your own can get tedious, but doing it with a friend becomes an adventure. The constant communication between you and your co-op partner as you figure out where to go and how to get there brings the game to life. There’s even an in-game high five button!
I love this game. From the art style to the gameplay, my time so far with it has always been a joy. While some of the puzzles may be tougher than others and require a little more skill from one player or another, the game feels like it can be approached by players of all skill types and ages. It is the kind of couch co-op game where you will lose an afternoon to a few frustrations, many high-fives, and a lot of laughter. In other words, Chariot is what co-op gaming is all about.
The Co-Optimus review of Chariot is based on the PS4 version of the game. A game code was provided by the developer for review purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: Work with a partner to guide the king's chariot to his final resting place. Along the way, extract riches from the very walls of the caves in multiple environments, and make your way to the exit by avoiding envious looters or by beating them back as they attempt to steal your hard-earned loot
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.