- Platforms: Xbox One (Reviewed), PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch (Q1 2018)
- Developer: Clever Endeavour Games
- Publisher: Clever Endeavour Games
- Release Date: December 15th, 2017
There’s nothing like a good ol’ fashioned multiplayer party game, and it doesn’t get much better than Clever Endeavour Games’ Ultimate Chicken Horse. Combining the competitive daredevil aspects of the timeless game of Chicken with the one-upping challenge of Horse, Ultimate Chicken Horse is an all around hilarious experience for friends, family, and strangers alike.
Each game of Ultimate Chicken Horse begins with a starting point and end point, with essentially a blank canvas in between. Each player selects an obstacle or trap from the party box and places it onto the canvas, which is laid out as a grid. Once the objects are in place, the players must race to the finish line to collect as many points as they can. Once the first race is over, the players do the process again, continually adding pieces to the platforming puzzle, collaborating or completely screwing each other over.
There’s a large variety of objects to pick from during each building phase. For your platforming needs there are simple wooden planks, steel beam structures, and hay bails to use to get from point A to point B. Once the groundwork is in place to make it to the finish line the real fun can begin with traps and hazards. Players can try and snuff out their competition using wrecking balls, rotating buzzsaws, and spiked pitfalls. To make things even more interesting, there are also objects that can be used to add onto existing objects and even combine them. Lay out some barbwire on a platform or make the surface slick with some ice to give other players some trouble. Choose some glue and stick some objects to a rotating obstacle to really create a chaotic level.
Although it is a very simple concept that may sound repetitive, Ultimate Chicken Horse continues to stay fresh over multiple playthroughs. Each base level evolves into a new creation as players methodically place their hazards and platforms to gain an edge. The game really shines when the matches come down to the last few turns, and the screen is completely cluttered with objects, causing nothing but carnage. This often produces sidesplitting laughter, as the flying projectiles and traps will have your poor animal’s carcass ping-ponging across the level.
If you do happen to get sick of the twelve levels you gradually unlock as you play the game, there is also a massive database of player-created levels at your disposal. Players can create their own levels in Free Play mode, and share their creations with a unique 8 character code, choosing to share locally or online. You can also play the player-created solo in Ultimate Chicken Horse‘s Challenge Mode if you’re looking to challenge yourself or sharpen your platforming skills.
The visual style of Ultimate Chicken Horse screams grade school art project, which fits the game’s concept and tone perfectly. The characters and objects look to be made out of construction paper. There’s a bundle of adorable critter avatars to choose from and unlock, as well as a ton of ridiculous little outfits to dress them in.
The one downfall of Ultimate Chicken Horse is the controls feel pretty loose for a platformer. Some players, especially friends or family members that are not used to everyday gaming, may struggle with some of the games precise movements like wall jumping and tight landings, as the jump feels very floaty.
Despite the minor hiccup on the controls, Ultimate Chicken Horse is one of the best party platformers on the market. The core mechanics of the game are simple and easy to pick up for any newcomer, and the ever-changing levels keep things fresh. Players that fancy themselves as platforming veterans can challenge each other with their own custom creations, and there are plenty of cute little unlockables along the way.
An Xbox One review copy of Ultimate Chicken Horse was provided by Clever Endeavour Games