Chariot: 101 uses for a rolling casket

If you're looking for a quirky, creative, and challenging game this fall, then Chariot might be the game for you. Developed by Frima Studio, Chariot is a co-op physics based puzzle game with a strange twist. In it, a princess promises her recently deceased father that she'll take his remains to a special burial site surrounded by riches. So, the king's coffin is set on wheels, while the Princess and her fiancee take up ropes on either end. Together, they have to pull the rolling coffin through a world full of floating islands, steep inclines, and other obstacles while collecting floating gold coins the whole way. The bright, 2D cartoon graphics and overall mood of Chariot help you forget about how the two of you are dragging around a corpse in a box. The two characters have persistent smiles as they make their way over hills and down cliffs. Meanwhile, the chariot itself is a sort of multitool. Its ropes can be used to pull players up or help them swing from place to place. Players can also ride it like a cart down steep hills, or use it as a platform to reach higher areas. Lastly, the spirit of your father follows you, so the chariot can travel along certain spirit rails the living characters cannot touch. That must mean, to a casual observer, that the wheeled coffin can float through the air with two passengers dangling from it.

Crossing a spirit bridge

However you decide to travel to the burial site, you have to keep an eye on the amount of noise you make. The sound of a chariot hitting through ground or getting knocked around attracts little bat-like creatures that will swarm you and try to eat your gold. Cooperation is paramount, so Chariot ends up being as much of a team/relationship building exercise as it is a game. There's no online mode, so players will have to sit next to each other and talk as they solve puzzles together. Players need to coordinate who will act as an anchor while the other swings across a chasm. If there's one fault I found in playing the early build, it's that there isn't much sense of direction. You're never quite sure where the destination is, and can end up wandering in circles or climbing up series of platforms that lead nowhere. Still, the game's cheery graphics and challenging gameplay make it easy to forgive Chariot for these oversights. Players their chance to roll together in this unique platform puzzler this fall, when Chariot releases for the Xbox One, PS4, Wii U and PC.