Party games are always in demand. Parties are happening all the time, after all. Ultimate Chicken Horse is one such game, and, in my opinion, belongs in the best of the best of that category.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is a multiplayer party game, which can be played both online and locally (although the online part is still in beta). We assume the role of adorable little animals such as horses, chickens, raccoons and sheep. Our aim is to slaughter said animals in hundreds of different ways, in order to not allow them to reach a stage’s end. However, we must not kill our animal, since we need to reach the end to get points. The game can be played by 2 to 4 people.
Ultimate Chicken Horse’s gameplay is split into two parts. In the first one, we and our friends have to simultaneously pick a building block out of a box. After we all pick, we have to place them on various areas of the stage. For this part of the game, the stage looks like an architect’s blueprint, which makes the whole process look cooler and also helps in placing items. The building blocks we can get range from the more mundane ones, like a crate or a steel bar, to some more extreme items, such as a machine that shoots hockey balls every few seconds and a teleporter.
After everybody places their items, the platforming part of the game begins. In this, our goal is to reach the flag that marks the stage’s end, in order to get points. The way the points work in this game is quite simple. You get point if you reach the flag. If everybody else reaches the flag or nobody reaches it, nobody gets points. If you reach the flag first or are the only one to reach it, you get more points. You can also get points if an item you placed killed somebody. Moreover, if at any point in the game you fall behind, you become an underdog, meaning that if you make it to the flag you get double the points. The points system in the game is, at least to me, very well made, since it allows for multiple approaches to the game. For example, if the stage is starting to get too hard for you, you can just concentrate on placing traps that will kill others, so you can still get some points even if you fail the stage.
Thanks to the absurd nature of the game, both in terms of items and of the ideas it has, the gameplay becomes very fun. Additionaly, the game offers many unlockables, to the satisfaction of all the completionists out there. We can unlock new stages, new characters and new items for our characters. When it comes to stages, the game offers a lot of variety, both in how the stages look and as to how they play out. There is a waterfall stage, a skyscraper stage, a barn stage and many more. Some stages have some extra gameplay elements in them. For example, the barn stage has an elevator that can take you close to the flag. Others, like the skyscraper stage, are pretty bare, offering only a couple of platforms with a huge gap in the middle. Generally, the stages in the game are geared towards every kind of person. If you want to get more technical with your traps, trying to guess your opponents’ plays and stop them, you can. If you want to just run through a state while dodging traps, you can do that as well.
In terms of the game’s looks and sound, everything is more than satisfactory. The art style is cartoony and fun, which makes the carnage that happens in each stage even more hilarious. The game’s soundtrack is also very funky, allowing you to both focus on the game and also enjoy some sweet beats.
The only thing that is a bit of a bother in the game are some bugs it has. While the game developers themselves have notified us that the game’s online mode is in beta, there are also a few bugs when it comes to moving around a stage or picking items. However, rest assured that these bugs will only be minor annoyances, since there is no major bug that can ruin the game for you.
All in all, Ultimate Chicken Horse is some of the best fun I’ve had in a party game in quite a while. Although many other game, like Speedrunners or Tricky Towers, offer the same part experience, Ultimate Chicken Horse has more of an absurd feel to it, making it even more fun. Lastly, the game has very minimal requirements on hardware, which means that almost everybody can play it.
You can get Ultimate Chicken Horse through Steam for 15 euros.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is a hilarious platformer that can provide you with many hours of entertainment along with your friends. While it does have some bugs, they are not enough to harm your experience.
+ Hilarious gameplay and great variety in the game’s stages.
+ Many unlockables.
– Some bugs.
Philip “Snowchill” Alexandris