Tagged "Chariot"

Jan 05
By Matt Gander In New Nintendo Downloads 1 Comment

There’s something of an unexpected theme connecting this week’s Nintendo eShop new arrivals – the murky underworld of the depths below us. Say “hello” to Chariot, Underground, Dig Dug and Lode Runner.

We reviewed the Xbox One version of Frima Studio’s co-op platformer Chariot (£13.49) back in October before giving it another mention in our ‘2014: Ten you may have missed’ feature. It was awarded an 8/10 but we warned that it requires commitment – it’s no walk in the park, with some levels taking a good hour to finish.


You’ll need a friend and a comfortable cushion for this one, that’s for certain. “For those with both time and patience, Chariot’s colourful rollercoaster ride of royalty and riches is one to consider” concluded our review.

Then we have Underground (£15.99), a puzzle game with an unusual history. It began as a Wii title intended to teach medical professionals laparoscopic surgery motor skills, and was developed in conjunction with a special controller resembling laparoscopic equipment. The Wii U’s GamePad does away with the need for this, but is still compatible for those wishing to sharpen their surgery skills. Where it’s available to purchase from, we simply do not know.


The game itself sounds like a top-down iteration of Lemmings. Kind of, anyway – the two lead characters gather resources and send out robots to construct bridges, stairs and more to safely traverse underground environments.

It’s Dig Dug that leads the way on Virtual Console this week. Namco’s classic arrives on Wii U for £3.49, as does Lode Runner. Both are conversions of the NES versions.

Read more

Dec 09
By Matt Gander In Features No Comments

The indie uprising continued in full force this year, with numerous download-only titles bagging incredibly high review scores.

Not all caught the attention of critics and gamers alike though, and so this round-up gives a small handful a second chance to glimmer in the limelight. We’ve thrown in a few big budget games you may have missed too. Hey, we’re all for equality here.

Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved – Xbox One, Xbox 360


We feel sorry for Harmonix. We really do. See, it wasn’t long after Fantasia was announced that Microsoft finally caved in and began to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect. Turns out people didn’t want a glorified webcam prying into their living room. Who would have thought it, eh?

Although Fantasia obtained positive reviews it would appear that pre-orders were so low that some retailers didn’t bother stocking it at all. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks after launch that we spotted our first copy in ‘the wild’. It gets worse – not only did it fail to enter the UK top 40, but also the top 40 Xbox 360 chart. Considering even incredibly obscure stuff manages to break the lower echelons of the Xbox 360 top 40, we’d wager that copies sold during launch week struggled to break double figures. We’re speculating of course, but it stands to reason.

At the time of typing Fantasia can be picked up for around £20 and will likely swiftly plummet to the magical £10 mark. Those with a Kinect would do well take advantage of that alluring price tag. Bringing the worlds sorcerer Yen Sid has created to life is a joy, while the chance to unlock additional mixes mid-song is a neat idea. From Elton John to Gorillaz, the track listing is pleasingly diverse too.

While it may not have sold well, Harmonix can still take solace in knowing that Fantasia will be remembered as being one of the best Kinect titles. At least by the few who played it, anyway.

Volgarr the Viking – Xbox One


As much as we wanted to review Volgarr, the fact that we aren’t very good at it scrubbed that plan. Harsher than a Norwegian winter, it puts both memory and reflex skills to the test.

Although tough, it’s all the better for it. Every death heeds a valuable lesson; learn from these mistakes and on your next attempt you’ll get a little further. Controls are precise and enemy placement pixel-perfect. Sure, you’ll curse when you die for the umpteenth time but you’ll also dust yourself off and try again. For us, that’s the hallmark of impeccable design.

The aesthetic design is likewise pleasing. Every reviewer seems to have their own opinion on which 16-bit classic Volgarr resembles. In our eyes, Tatio’s Rastan Saga from 1987. In terms of how it plays however it has more in common with Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts. It’s the power-up system we have to thank for this – Volgarr starts with a simple sword and spear combo, gaining shields and armour from chests that often require a spot of risky exploration to discover. One hit is all it takes to lose these items, and so keeping hold of them for lengthy periods proves to be a highly rewarding challenge in itself.

Read more

Oct 22
By Matt Gander In Reviews No Comments

Even with a concept that’s quirkier than most, we’d argue that Chariot’s standout feature is that it brings back good old local co-op gaming. With a friend by your side this physics-based platform puzzler evokes memories of when online gaming was a thing of the future; a time when two gamers could bond on a sofa, sharing strategies and revelling in victories with one another. If you haven’t splashed out for a second Xbox One or PS4 controller yet, then Chariot could very well be the game that opens your wallet.

It’s lamentable that Chariot’s co-op isn’t of the drop-in/drop-out variety, but let’s not rain on Frima Studio’s parade just yet as there’s plenty to praise. The concept is a perfect place to start – playing as princess or her suitor, it’s your job to traverse the cavernous royal catacombs to find a suitable resting place for a recently departed King. What should be a relatively easy task soon becomes a herculean quest however, with the King himself coming along for the ride. Taking the form of a ghostly spirit he’s something of a fusspot, constantly complaining about, well, just about everything. In addition to frequently changing his mind about where his resting place should be, humorously pointing out even the smallest of problems, the royal one also demands that the chariot be filled with loot. Thankfully, the catacombs are rife with shiny gems for the taking.


The labyrinth-like levels start off small, giving plenty of scope to learn the ropes. Quite literally in this case – using the joypad’s trigger buttons, a rope can be attached to the chariot and the slack reduced or lengthen as need be. Nuances are numerous, including the ability to flip the chariot in the air and use it as a temporary platform before it hurtles to the ground. In most instances you’re left to figure these little time-saving tricks for yourself. Soon they become second nature, not to mention highly beneficial for collecting loot located in hard to reach areas.

Chariot’s pace may be slow but it’s no walk in the park

If the chariot rolls out of view for too long then back to the checkpoint you go. This is the only means of failure – there are no grizzly deaths here, even when it comes to fending off gremlin-like looters. These mysterious creatures, with their glowing red eyes, are simply after loot and as such cause the protagonists no harm. They’re attracted by the noise of the chariot falling from great highs or colliding into walls, and if they aren’t catapulted off the royal wagon in good time they’ll make off with some of your valuables.

As the story unfolds – taking our intrepid adventurers across snow, sand and more – the looters become bigger and more menacing, requiring more hits from your trusty slingshot to cast back into the shadows. Fortunately the catacombs contain upgrade blueprints, some of which are essential to locate in order to progress.

Read more

Oct 01
By Matt Gander In This Week's Games 1 Comment

It’s October, and that means gaming’s silly season is upon us. Dozens and dozens of new games all vying for your attention and, more importantly, money. No less than three big name releases are out this Friday, all of which will undoubtedly shake up next week’s UK top ten chart.

Reviews for all three went live online well in advance to their release dates, which is always a good sign.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor arrives on PS4, Xbox One and PC. If you wasn’t already aware, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions were pushed back until 21st November. Set between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, you’re cast into the role of Talion – a recently resurrected Ranger. As he’s already dead he cannot die in battle, but time does pass with every failure prompting Sauron’s armies to shift and grow stronger. This ties in with the game’s ‘Nemesis System’ – enemies that killed Talion will remember him, and also receive promotions. We expected something similar to the Assassin’s Creed games, but apparently it has more in common with Batman: Arkham City.


Scores so far include 8/10s from both gamesTM and Eurogamer, 9/10 from VideoGamer, 9.3 from IGN and a lofty 9.5 from Polygon. “Shadow of Mordor is that ultimate rarity. It tells a fun little story that would be enough to hold up most games on its own. But it also provides all of the tools to ensure that the most interesting tales to come out of the game will be the ones that were not scripted” said Polygon.

Reviews of Forza Horizon 2 have been similarly sky high. Forget the fact that it’s coming out 11 months after launch title Forza Motorsport 5 – this has a different developer (Playground Games create the Horizon series) and as it’s open-world it provides an all together different experience. Incidentally, good old Sumo Digital are responsible for the Xbox 360 version. That’s also out this Friday.


Scores for the super slick racer include 9.5 from Destructoid (“Every element in Forza Horizon 2 adds up to an exceptional experience”) and 9/10 from God is a Geek (“Its breathtaking take on the world of cars is a petrol head’s wet dream”). Eurogamer and IGN also handed out a 9/10 and a 9.0.

PlayStation 4 owners shouldn’t feel jealous – DRIVECLUB is finally out next week.

Then we have Super Smash Bros. on 3DS. Easily the biggest Nintendo release of the year, the Wii U version shouldn’t be far off – 21st November has been hinted by online retailers.


Critics have found a few issues with the 3DS version, but most problems are easy to overlook on the grounds that the series was never really intended for handhelds. As such, there were always going to be a few shortcomings. So far we’ve heard of complains with the controls (the analogue stick prevents precision inputs, reports Eurogamer) and also issues with latency in local multiplayer (four-player matches are borderline unplayable claims GamesRadar). To quote God is a Geek though “It would be easy to sit and reel off a list of things Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS doesn’t have, but it’s better to focus on what it is. And what it is, is a functionally excellent, portable version of Super Smash Bros.”


Pac-Man isn’t just appearing in Super Smash Bros. this week – Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures 2 is rolling onto PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS for around the £25 mark. With less than a year between this and the original expect something highly similar with lots of recycled assets. With a bigger focus on using power-ups however, this could end up being the better of the two. We gave the original a not-too-shabby 6/10 back in January, claiming that it was a cut above most cartoon tie-ins.

Read more

Sep 28
By Matt Gander In Blog No Comments

During Microsoft’s E3 indie showreel a fair few games managed to raise our collective eyebrows. The Silly Symphonies inspired scrolling shooter Cuphead was one of these; co-op 2D platformer Chariot another.

Frima Studio’s Chariot is arriving on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One next week, swinging in at the sweet low price of nothing for Xbox One gold members. Chances are your interests are now suitably piqued too.

This puzzle platformer has a focus on physics, with the two lead characters – a princess and her fiancé – in control of a chariot carrying a recently departed king.


The plot is pleasingly simple – to find a suitable burial plot deep inside royal catacombs. His Majesty himself comes along for the ride as a ghostly spirit, an unwanted backseat driver if you will. The new launch trailer shows the late royal ruler bickering over his final resting place.

Expect a pace faster than most puzzlers due to the chariot moving at a fair old lick when rallying down slopes and launching off ramps. In a way it reminds us of Knuckles’ Chaotix, in the sense that the characters are tethered to something that can build up great momentum to propel great distances.

Not the most flattering of comparisons, perhaps, but the fact that there’s little else to compare it to is certainly a positive.

Read more

© 2001-2017 Games Asylum