With a “cluck cluck” here and a “cluck cluck” there.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is a multiplayer party style game which will see you and your opponents racing across different stages to try and reach the red flag. Of course, things aren’t so simple when you put it into action – there’s a host of deadly traps and pitfalls you’ll be having to avoid and they’re set up by you, the players. You can play with 2-4 people locally and then you’ve got the option of venturing online in single player.
You’ll be playing 12 rounds, at the start of each one you’re given a party box which will have between 4-6 items and all you have to do is pick one. It’s here that things will start to get interesting, each player can only pick one item. In the party box you’ll find different environmental hazards that will either help or hinder your game. The aim is to place things across the stage to make other players journeys a lot more difficult.
You can choose from four characters at the beginning and two stages, this will increase the more you play in the form of floating ‘?’ boxes appearing in a stage. You can unlock different outfits for the characters as well but as they all play the same, it’s all purely aesthetic. The control method is very easy to get to grips with, all you need to do is run and jump and make sure you don’t die.
The menu is a little awkward to navigate given the fact you can tell it was on Steam first, you have a mouse cursor and you move it with the control stick which isn’t the quickest or most intuitive much like the same style as Hover. Unfortunately the four game modes aren’t too dissimilar from one another either; you’ve got Creative, Party, Freeplay and Challenge and the only difference really is that Party and Challenge modes are a lot more competitive. Freeplay gives you the opportunity to scope out a stage and test out any traps or routes you may want to take and Creative is where you’re given the entire inventory as opposed to a select few.
You’re able to customise your own stages which is a great feature. Even if you’re not that creatively minded you will find a lot of fun to be had taking on other peoples work. Your able to place whatever you want, wherever you want it and you can even extend the parameters of the stage to make them smaller or larger providing new challenges for players. It also gives the game a lot more longevity once you’ve unlocked all fifteen stages of the main Party mode.
Ultimate Chicken Horse is a niche title in the same way as games like WarioWare D.I.Y or Super Mario Maker. You will get out as much as you put in and for the creative minded you’ll have a field day. However with that said, the gameplay isn’t all that fun after a few rounds so provides light entertainment in short bursts.
Customisable game modes and the option to create your own stages give Ultimate Chicken Horse a nice starting point but the gameplay on offer does wear a little stale after a few rounds.