By just looking at some games, it's hard to tell what to expect. Although Ultimate Chicken Horse seems like a goofy 2D platformer, it's so much more than that so get ready for one of the most addictive multiplayer games that you'll ever play!
Okay, what the heck is Ultimate Chicken Horse? Basically, up to four players simultaneously try and master a 2D platforming stage. At the beginning of each round, everyone selects a platform, object, or hazard and places it on the stage. Therefore, your goal during the construction phase is to stump your opponents while not screwing yourself over and the goal of the platforming phase is to successfully make it to the end without perishing. I must say, this blend of genres is implemented absolutely beautifully as it creates a constant sense of fun and strategy. The platforming itself is very similar to Super Meat Boy as you can slide down and leap off walls and there are potentially loads of hazards to avoid. In essence, you get the best of both worlds: solid and thrilling 2D platforming as well as intuitive and strategic level creation. Overall, Ultimate Chicken Horse features ingenious gameplay and I can easily say that it's one of the most fun multiplayer games of 2017.
At first, it's hard to know what to think of Ultimate Chicken Horse. The visuals are very simple and goofy with stereotypical environments and a cast of animal characters that look like they were cut out of construction paper. However, once you play it for a while, the simple charm of it all starts to sink in. This is especially true when you figure out how to sing and dance. It's so much fun just watching these goofball animals sing their gibberish while they sway back and forth. The funky little tunes only add to the silliness.
One thing that Ultimate Chicken Horse accomplishes fantastically is its fully-featured multiplayer component which is awesome because it's meant to be played with other people. For starters, you can play either locally or online. Also, you can enjoy it with a combination of both local and online players. I played mostly with my wife in online matches which was an absolute blast. All of that being said, there is a lot of lag and frequent bugs while playing online. The online community is very active with loads of people to play with which is cool but when we got disconnected for some reason or saw players randomly warping around the stage; it took away from the fun.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is one of the most fun games of the year but it also has a couple of disappointing downsides. Firstly, the interface is pretty inconsistent. For example, the main menu is a notebook yet the level and mode select have you jump around a hub area and the user-created levels menu looks like a wall of text. Therefore, being able to figure out what's available and setting up your next play session is a lot trickier than it needs to be. Finally, there are essentially only two play modes: the main party mode and a challenge mode where you try to master stages as quickly as possible. These two modes are enough to provide hours upon hours of platforming fun but I can't help but wish there were more modes that experimented with the core gameplay such as mini-games, etc.
If you're a fan of 2D platformers and enjoy playing games with other folks then Ultimate Chicken Horse is simply a must-buy game. With a seamless blend of platforming, construction, and strategy; how could you pass up on this barn full of fun?
- + Addictive blend of level creation and Super Meat Boy style 2D platforming
- + Simple and enjoyable presentation
- + Well-implemented fully-featured multiplayer
- - Clunky and inconsistent interface
- - Could use more core gameplay modes
- - Online can be kind of laggy and buggy