The name of the video games we play poses as a summary of the underlying complexities they portray. Hearing the name “Ultimate Chicken Horse” immediately emits limitless possibilities; no two people on earth can guess what kind of game this will be. This ridiculous, hilarious and surprisingly clever multi-player platformer will take you back to the good old days of ruining friendships over video games.
Clever Endeavour Games released their only video game, “Ultimate Chicken Horse,” in 2016, which was later ported to the PlayStation 4 late 2017. If you have some buddies or good online connection, you can each choose from an assortment of farm animals and create stages using a variety of platforms and obstacles. You then must reach the flag at the end of the map before anyone else does to receive the most amount of points. If the maps are too simple in structure, no one gets a point. This is a clever way to enable creativity and “udder” chaos. From fire hydrants to powerful sentient flowers that can throw you to your doom, the number of tools at your disposal offers endless ways for your group to create new maps every time you play. The colors are consistently contrasting, so you’ll almost never lose your character in the midst of ludicrous layouts of your maps.
You’re constantly rewarded for creativity and wit; you’ll be given extra points for trapping other players and getting to the goal faster than others. The controls are reminiscent of “Super Meat Boy.” You’re able to control your run speed and the trajectory and distance of your jump, as well as wall-jumping for a silky-smooth platforming experience.
If you hadn’t noticed yet, there is no mention of playing on your own. This is because the game doesn’t offer a single-player option. Especially for PS4 users, if you don’t have access to online play, you can’t play Ultimate Chicken Horse on your own. As addicting as the game is to play with others, there’s no other way to practice your scaling or platform building skills other than online or local play. For PC users, this might not be a problem; if you’re able to download the game you’re likely going to be able to play online. If you’re a PS4 user and don’t have PlayStation Plus, then the game is rendered unplayable.
Ultimate Chicken Horse may not offer a single player experience, but getting the guys (or gals) together on a Friday afternoon has never been so hilarious. This well-crafted platform-builder shows all the promise of modern Indie-developers. This is an addicting experience that will have you playing round after round, wondering where the time went.