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Cute and goofy, but not much else

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    Rating: 2.5 – Playable

    Cute and goofy, but not much else

    Lately I have been playing indie game after indie game that has a unique art style and is just loaded with charm, but the gameplay that the game is built around fails to impress. I am in that boat yet again with Chariot. This Xbox One indie game has a great idea, absolutely stellar presentation, but grows old so quickly that it will make your head spin.

    First of all, I must say this: this game has a high five button. Yes, it is awesome. Not only that, but if you don’t move your character long enough, they curtsy! The art style is very cutesy and cartoonish. The game stars a couple that are looking to revive their dead king, who lives in a wagon they drag around in the form of a ghost. The quest to save the king takes players through plenty of different levels that feature their own twists on the core gameplay mechanics.

    The core gameplay is simple. Players drag a wagon around. Getting the wagon through certain areas requires teamwork and puzzle solving. This gimmick is actually quite good at first. The developers come up with really clever ways to utilize the wagon that are surprising and fun. However, after a few hours you will definitely be tired of dragging the wagon around from level to level trying to collect all of the gems and what-not that are littered throughout the game.

    The game is first and foremost a co-op game. That’s why it absolutely boggles my mind that yet ANOTHER co-op indie game I play forgets to allow the second player to earn achievements. This is absolutely ridiculous and kills one of the main hooks of the game right from the start. I can’t believe we are still dealing with this issue, and quite frankly, I am getting tired of complaining about it. Developers. Please. Stop doing this.

    I found the presentation of the game to be absolutely charming and delightful. The art style is fantastic, the animation is superb and beautiful, and the music is excellent as well. The game has some good jokes as well, and while the characters aren’t all that memorable, they are at least funny.

    So to reiterate, the presentation is kickass, the gameplay is extremely lacking. The gimmick of dragging the wagon around is fun for a little bit, but after the first couple batches of levels, the gimmick starts to wear thin, and then the game just becomes boring, unfortunately.

    As of the time of this writing, Chariot is free on Xbox One as a part of the Games with Gold program. If you are reading this in time and are just learning about the game, you might as well take advantage of it to see if you like it yourself. Personally, I found the game to be dull, with a stellar presentation wasted on a failed gameplay gimmick. However, it’s hard to beat "free", so you might as well give it a test run. If you have to pay for this game? I wouldn’t do it.

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