After some hands on with Frima’s Chariot on the XBOX One it becomes clear that this game is not for everyone. For those who enjoy this type of game however, it will be money well spent. If games like Angry Birds, Tetris, and Cut the Rope are your cup of tea then read on. If you are more of a high octane gamer who finds the previously mentioned games a snooze fest, then you may want to look elsewhere. I highly doubt this game will satisfy those twitchy thumbs. It is for that reason that I will not be giving it a number rating. You will know just from reading if this game is for you.
In Chariot you are the princess, or her fiancé, and your goal is to cart the king’s dead body around in a wheeled casket and find it a respectable place to rest. His ghost follows you and complains about something at certain points. The humor more often comes across as annoying instead of funny, but it will bring a few smiles and even a couple of giggles by the end. All of this is basically a mute point because if you are buying this for the story then you are missing the point entirely.
The game play is based on a physics based 2D side scrolling game. The concept is simple but mastering this game is far from it. The controls are quick to respond and at point could I blame them for my failings. There is not comprehensive walkthrough so you will want to look at the button layout in the menu. Pushing, pulling, riding, swinging, and platforming the “funeral chariot” around starts out simple enough, but after a short while requires planning before you can get to that next ledge. Upgrades can be purchased and taken with you to make your journey easier and to reach areas you could not without them. You cannot take them all with you so choose carefully. Many of the levels split into different paths which greatly enhances your replayability even after you reach the end.
The combat to be had is a one button affair that acts as a temporary reprieve from the figuring out just how to get from point A to B. Unlike most games your life is not in peril. Your loot on the other hand is, and if they get their grubby little hands on it then you lose the money you have worked so hard for. Finishing a level 10 short of what you need for the next upgrade will make you hate the looters the way a aussie hates being told Australia stole everything from New Zealand.
There is no online game play here. There is a “couch co-op” option where a friend can help as you play through. If you want to unlock everything you will need a friend as some things are only reachable in co-op mode. My only friend who would put down Destiny and play this with me wined more than the king and was even more useless. So pick someone who you can coordinate with.
Audio on a game like this is a tricky thing. If done wrong then it will detract from the gameplay and everyone will wine about it. If done well nobody notices the audio programmer gets his feels unappreciated. At least this game falls into the latter. The characters are fittingly voice acted like a kids cartoon show. The music does not get annoying and does a nice job a subtly setting a mood. The sound effects are great, but like the story the audio is just there to enhance the core of the game and you will hardly notice it.
Visually speaking the game is pretty to look at. The 3d-ish background is reminiscent of the old days of the Super Mario series. The colors are well balanced and at no point did I confuse something in the background for something that I could use. The characters are cutesy cartoonish that match the story presentation and kids will probably like.
Chariot is a fantastic puzzler that will give hours of joy to puzzle gamers. The mix of puzzle, platforming, and simple combat reduces repetitiveness and makes it a well rounded experience with few peers. Some parents may find it disturbing that you are carting around a dead body, but overall the game is appropriate or children. You can enjoy the game on PC as well as both current generations of Sony and Microsoft consoles. If you like to get your “think” on then this is a buy.