PlayStation 4
Game Info:

Developed by: Frima Studio
Published by: Frima Studio
Release Date: September 30, 2014 (Consoles), November 12, 2014 (PC)
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Wii U
Genre: Platformer
Number of Players: Up to two players
ESRB Rating: Everyone, Mild cartoon violence
Price: $14.99

Thank you Frima Studio for sending us this game to review!

Chariot is a 2D physics platformer where you and an optional friend get to cart around your former king's body to its final resting place.  The problem is that the king was very greedy and his ghost encourages you to collect and protect every gem along the way.  To make matters worse, he is very picky about where he will be laid to rest, thus prolonging this dangerous journey. 

At first it's pretty smooth sailing while journeying through caverns to find the way out.  Some caves have multiple exits and you have to explore them all before moving onto the next area.  Each level has blueprints and skull shaped gems stashed within.  The blueprints are for unlocking useful chariot and rope upgrades.  One example is the lamp upgrade which is required to pass through darkened caverns.

After an upgrade is unlocked, you'll have to spend some of your loot money to purchase it.  Loot is earned by gathering and protecting gems found within the caves.  There are bats and other monsters that will try to snatch the treasure away.  The female is armed with a sword to protect herself while the male character is armed with a longer-range slingshot.  When hit, the creatures disappear; there is no blood or gore.    


Strong Points: Challenging platformer with timed and jumping puzzles; funny dialogue; delightful soundtrack
Weak Points: Check point save system, much easier with a second player
Moral Warnings: Undead references, cartoon violence

Monsters are not the only challenge.  The terrain changes  and there are moving and disappearing platforms to contend with.  There are some rails that will only support the chariot and other rails that only work with the living.  There will be times when you'll have to briefly let go of the chariot to get past some obstacles.  You cannot leave the chariot unattended for long, if you are separated for more than 6 seconds, the game will load the last checkpoint.  Unfortunately you cannot save whenever you like.  The check points are plentiful though and always right after difficult areas.  

The levels are long and can take forty-five minutes or longer to complete depending on how much of a perfectionist you are.  Thankfully you can quit and resume at your last check point if needed.  I like how the game's main menu lets you know how far along in the game your save file is.  The map is very helpful as well to let you know which areas in the cavern have yet to be explored.  If you missed a spot, or some loot, you can always go back and replay it.  

There are often forks in the path and replaying the levels is the only way to collect everything.  While this game can be played solo, there are many times where a second player is required to collect blueprints or skull treasures.  Having a second player is handy, but could be stressful if they don't share the same gaming philosophy as you.   My husband is a perfectionist while I just want to get through and beat the level and move onto the next.  To each their own.  :)

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 90%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The controls utilize the four triggers on the PS4 controller.  They tighten and loosen the rope's slack along with attaching and detaching the rope from the chariot.  While remote play does work on the Vita, the back touchscreen has to be used for hooking up and detaching the rope from the cart.  

The graphics are colorful and cute.  I love how plants bloom as you pass them in the caves.  The character expressions and personalities are adorable.  Even the king's whiny ghost is funny.  The voice acting is well done and the background minstrel music is very catchy.  The Steam version of the game lets you buy the soundtrack for a couple of dollars more; I highly recommend picking it up! 

While Chariot is family friendly, it's pretty challenging.   As an adult, I did rage quit on multiple occasions as the difficulty increased.  While many challenging puzzles can be avoided, not all of them can be.  Without parental guidance, this game may prove to be too hard for younger children.  I know it's raised my blood pressure at times.  For those who like platformer games with jumping and sometimes timed puzzles, look no further than Chariot.  The $15 asking price will provide many hours of entertainment and perhaps some moments of frustration.  

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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