23rd May2018

‘Super Chariot’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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Super Chariot is a 2D puzzle-platform game that focuses on the efforts of a princess (and her prince in co-op mode) as they work their way through underground catacombs in a bid to put their deceased (and yet still very, very talkative talkative) king to rest. And so begins an odyssey of dragging around a coffin mounted on two cartwheels.

I actually pretty much reviewed this game twice, first off I played the game alone in single player mode and whilst the sparse use of jaunty music, well-animated, bright and cheerful graphics and general light-hearted tone of the game seemed a good start, I couldn’t quite gel with the main focus of the game which involves yanking, riding and dragging the coffin around, and I fully appreciate that it was not the games’ fault. The physics in the game feel extremely realistic, the coffin has a real weight to it and as you pull it (attached as it is to your character by a magical, relatively short rope) up walls and swing it across ravines in a bid to find the exit to the next section, as aware as I was about how well-designed the game was and how smoothly it ran… I couldn’t ramp up my interest in what was happening. Rolling the weighty coffin up slopes, awkwardly jumping over ledges and reeling it up with me, it all felt more of a chore than a puzzle. Later levels introduce multiple paths, special power ups and secret ways to pick up jewels (with which you can buy the aforementioned power-ups) as well as blueprints to unlock new powers, it just didn’t grab me and I was a bit adrift with the core mechanic.

I was feeling a bit disappointed in my attitude towards the game and was making notes for a review, when a friend came over and I casually mentioned the game to him. He suggested that we try out the two player mode…and thus the true magic of the game was revealed.

All of the issues I had in single player mode were flipped on their head in the two player game. Astonishing really, as all that happens is that the prince joins you and if anything, makes matters more complicated as you now have the inertia, physics and movement of a third party to deal with along with the coffin…and all it does it makes it a thousand times more fun! My friend and I glared at each other, laughed, groaned and cheered as we clumsily clattered our way through the levels, winding each other up by accidentally letting go of the rope at the wrong time, causing the king to trundle away to the start of an incline or roll depressingly slowly off a ledge, making us back-track. In single player mode, this caused growing frustration at the premise but in two-player mode, it just made us laugh more as blame each other for the roughness of the King’s journey, it was like the Chuckle Brothers were trying to deliver an antique table after a bottle of vodka. What started as a five minute blast to show him the game turned into an hour-long session filled with pure simple gaming joy and instantly I knew that it’s game we would be returning to constantly whenever he comes around.

The difference between playing Super Chariot in single player and multiplayer is night and day. The co-op feature MAKES this game. If you intend to work through Super Chariot in single player mode, I would suggest trying out a demo before buying to see if it’s for you. If, however you have someone who enjoys physics-based puzzlers with you, Super Chariot is great choice…especially along with a few drinks.

Right, I’m off to buy some Aloe Vera for the rope burns.

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