With so many multiplayer games out there showcasing characters brutally dying, I was wishing for a game with less intense death scenes. Enter Ultimate Chicken Horse, a multiplayer obstacle game that is all about killing your adorable animal competitors! This game originally premiered on PC, and was recently released on the next gen consoles. Thanks to our friends at Clever Endeavour Games, I was able to play test the PlayStation 4 edition.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is like Ninja Warrior meets Super Smash Brothers. Players choose one of twelve levels, racing towards the finish line in each one, with the player who scores the most points being awarded the prestigious title of Ultimate Chicken, Sheep, Horse, etc. In each level, players are given the option of choosing items to place that will help them progress through the level, such as boards or stairs, or trap items that will kill players, such as barbed wire and hockey robots.
Players can also place coins in the level, which add points to your final score if you successfully complete the level with the coin. Dynamite and atomic bombs are also available for players to use to get rid of traps or helpful items. The choice of how you play is entirely up to you!
The game comes with three different play modes: Challenge Mode, Creative Mode, and Party Mode. In Party Mode, players each pick one item and place it in the level, then all run towards the end at the same time. New levels, characters, and wearable items can be unlocked in this mode. In Creative Mode, players each pick an item to use in the level, and then individually run through the level. This mode feels more like Horse than any of the others. In Challenge Mode, players compete in different levels to finish with either the fastest time or with the most coins. This winner-take-all mode is appropriate for those that want to prove themselves as the Ultimate animal.
The animation style is really cute and minimalist. With eight total unlockable characters and twelve unlockable levels, there is some unique designs used in the game. One downside is that color patterns tend to be repetitive and levels tend to use the same palette.
The default controls are really simple, but incredibly sensitive, so adjusting them is a must. Slightly nudging the joystick often results in the character running off the platform they’re on. It’s super annoying and led to some absolutely unnecessary deaths. People with a lot of practice with games like Super Meat Boy, or old SNES games should feel right at home with the controls.
One cool thing is that Ultimate Chicken Horse can easily handle up to four players. In Shared Controller Mode, players can share one or more controllers. The game then progresses in Creative Mode, with players playing Horse to win. While it takes some getting used to in remembering which controller each person was using, it was a great way to make sure all friends can play at the same time.
I had played Ultimate Chicken Horse on the PC before, and I find I prefer playing on the console more. It’s much easier to incorporate multiple players and runs pretty seamlessly on next gen consoles. The only downside with the console version is that it’s less versatile to play on the go.
All in all, I really enjoyed playing Ultimate Chicken Horse on the PlayStation 4. The problems in controls are easily corrected, and the game easily incorporates up to four players. Ultimate Chicken Horse is current available for purchase on PC and next gen consoles.