When I think about building my own levels in a game, or user-generated content games, few names come to my head: RC Revenge, Mario Maker, Little Big Planet, Project Spark and Infinite Minigolf are the only ones I can remember. And now, the Canadian studio Clever Endeavour Games adds to this distinguished list Ultimate Chicken Horse, a party platformer game where you build your own levels, be it to finish the levels or just to mess up with your friends! Prepare to adventure through thousands of crazy levels all built by the community. But first, let’s check everything the game has to offer in this review.
- Let your imagination flow! Ultimate Chicken Horse gameplay is by far, its most valuable aspect. In first place, it’s a 2D platform running game with a very simple premise (to go from start to finish as fast as you can), but what happens between the start and finish line is where the magic lies. You can customize the course, adding platforms, walls, doors, teleports and traps, lots of traps, with one of the most complete and original build tools I’ve ever seen in a game. And as you and other players can add/modify/destroy the stage, you can expect to hardly never experience the same race again.
- The game can be played in up to four players, each one controlling one cute animal, from chicken and horses to squirrels and elephants, local or online. To share a couch with friends to play in local multiplayer is guarantee for a good laugh!
- Gameplay is simple as it looks: you can run, jump, wall-jump, and duck. And that’s all. Avoid obstacles and traps, grab some coins during the course and reach the flag as fast as you can. For each action (finishing the race, being the first to reach the flag, picking up coins, hitting your opponents with one of your traps) you score points. The first player to reach a set amount of points (that you can define) wins.
- All the levels you build, be it a challenge or a party stage, or modify can be shared online, what grants an immeasurable longevity to the game (as long as people remains interested on it).
- Game has a nice soundtrack, with songs that combines with the theme of the stages. Sound effects are simple, but good. Most of time you will only pay attention to the sound of traps and hazards, trying to avoid them.
- Although the game has more than one mode (Challenge, where you compete for the fast completion times, Free Mode, where you can buy – and test – levels, Creative, where players can select what items they will add to the stage without the random effect, and Party, same as Creative, but selecting pieces randomly provided by the game after each round), there’s very little difference between them. Online matches I’ve tried have been one hundred percent Party games. I tried Challenge and Creative for my own a few times and really spent some time on Creative mode, building hellish courses for you to try 😉, but all the action (and fun) will happen in Party mode. There’s little incentive to keep playing other modes.
- I don’t care that much about graphics in a game. Since they serve its purpose and are well executed, I’m never going to complain about them. And Ultimate Chicken Horse does it: it has colorful and very (very, very) simple graphics that serve their purpose, but can discourage players to try this game.
- While playing, you can find gift boxes that give access to new characters, themed-stages and customizable parts for your characters. If you want to get them all, you’ll have to play a lot!
- The game menu is a mess! I understand developers where aiming to be creative (and they achieved it!), but my first interactions with the game were disappointing, not to say frustrating. Only after a couple of hours (and some online matches) I could understand how everything works. It’s unnecessarily confusing.
[Score: 7.5/10] Developers from Clever Endeavour accomplish something that few tried, but only Nintendo was able to do with its Mario Maker: they created a funny game from a simple premise that shines in giving the player possibilities to do almost everything that comes into your mind and invites you to exercise your creativity while screwing your friends! It’s a niche of game so fresh and poorly explored for bigger studios and they made something really incredible. Give it a try, especially if you have friends to play with (be it online or local). Laughs are on me.
Dev: Clever Endeavour Games Publisher: Clever Endeavour Games
Played on: Xbox One | LifeisXbox received a digital Preview code, provided by Stride PR.