Roughly a month before its official launch on the Nintendo Switch, Super Chariot has received a demo on the system. This free download includes three full levels, playable solo or in co-op using separate Joy-Con.
My first experience with the demo was a weird one. What I can only assume is a Switch-wide bug caused slowdown and scripting bugs until I fully restarted the system. After that was solved, everything was silky-smooth and surprisingly sharp. Super Chariot’s art style is colourful and lively, menus animated nicely, and the overall production value is great—it’s even got some entertaining and quality voice acting.
There are two main interactions in Super Chariot—pushing the coffin and pulling it with a rope. Different situations might require you to use the coffin as a platform to reach a higher area or use the rope to drag it up from a precipice. Rather than complicating the game with lots of mechanics or button presses, Super Chariot relies more on its physics system to create environmental puzzles.
Separation from the coffin is a given, and there’s a timer to stop you from wandering off without it that plays into the puzzles too. Send it rolling down a hill and you run the risk of timing out, and it will occasionally get stuck partway through a puzzle if you flop the execution of a jump or swing.
I hesitate to refer to Super Chariot as a Metroidvania, but it’s easy to make comparisons when looking at the map layout and how collectibles are hidden. This is a game that wants you to explore and really push its mechanics. You can also return to prior levels to grab missed items or farm currency, but the demo doesn’t include a way to make use of any of those just yet.
So far, Super Chariot has been an instantly-charming and challenging puzzle-platformer. The level design, visual style, voice acting, and physics make for a really enjoyable game. Definitely one to keep an eye on when it launches on Switch next month!