A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Working together to accomplish a goal (put human remains to rest) could be seen as a positive message.
Positive Role Models
The Princess is a strong (physically and otherwise) character intent on doing right by her deceased dad. The effort she goes through to fulfill his dying wish (even putting up with his chatty ghost) makes her a loving, loyal daughter.
Ease of Play
Controls are straightforward, though high levels of coordination and patience and even second-player help are necessary to progress through some stages.
Violence & Scariness
At times, the Princess and her fiancé must fight off greedy bats and penguins. It's very cartoony, with no suggestion of actual harm. Enemies simply vanish when defeated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Chariot is a charming downloadable cooperative platformer that involves transporting a dead king's remains to his final resting place. Though the concept of death underlies the entire game, it's handled fancifully, with the dead king's ghost floating over his sarcophagus like a genie and heckling his daughter. Gameplay is physics-based, and navigating some areas requires a high degree of physical coordination or assistance from a second player. Players will have to fend off bats, penguins, and other threats, but there's no blood, and enemies disappear when defeated.
Is It Any Good?
Chariot presents itself in such a spritely, colorful way, you really never think about the fact that the heroine is lugging around a dead body on a cart. Instead, you focus on the beautiful and varied levels full of glowing plants and craggy rock formations rendered in gorgeously saturated color. Plus, the art style is well supported by the amusing nagging of the dead king's ghost and the whimsical Renaissance Faire-like soundtrack. Still, Chariot is more than just a great-sounding game and pretty facade. It's physics are handled so well that you'll quickly get the hang of how to drag the cart around whatever's in your way.
The first few levels are fairly straightforward, but things quickly become so difficult that you'll need a second pair of hands to simply get through sections. In fact, some areas literally require it, with a sign indicating where these cooperative segments begin. Although these areas can be really fun, they prevent solo players from obtaining rewards for special gadgets that make later levels a whole lot easier. Without these items, play can become an exercise in hair-pulling frustration. Even with this cooperative bias, Chariot is a fun little game that's well worth a chunk of your interactive entertainment budget. It's pretty, witty, well-made, and a great way to spend a few hours, especially if you can enlist the help of an agreeable friend.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.