Review: Ultimate Chicken Horse

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Review: Ultimate Chicken Horse

There was a time when I thought to myself, “I want to have fun with my friends and not dedicate my life to ruining theirs.” And then I got Ultimate Chicken Horse. Developed by Clever Endeavor Games, Ultimate Chicken Horse is a game that’s best played with friends, future enemies, or both. Every game starts in a place of joy and excitement, and then rapidly devolves into threats of bodily harm and emotional abuse. Or, as Hasbro calls it, “a normal game of Monopoly”. Hit the jump to read on!

“Revenge is a dish best served immediately,” that’s the lesson I learned when playing Ultimate Chicken Horse with a friend (ex-friend? Frenemy?). We were playing on the Old Mansion map, one of twelve unlockable maps, which featured an elevator right in the middle of it for quick access to the goal. I was on a particularly bad losing streak for the majority of the map when a revelation dawned on me. My friend-turned-rival wasn’t trying to go for the goal anymore, she was purposely trying to impede me in every way possible. When I realized this, I looked over at her and asked what she was doing. With a slight smirk she confirmed what I already knew in my heart of hearts: she wanted me to suffer.

Ultimate Chicken Horse is primarily a local and online multiplayer game that pits players against one another in an attempt to reach a goal on the other side of the map. The twist, however, is the only way to reach the goal is by placing obstacles to build a makeshift bridge to cross. Every gaming session starts out with players working together to make a path so everyone can reach the goal. But by the second round of the first match, friendships evaporate and everyone begins looking out for themselves. Instead of building a bridge, everybody sets everything on fire and makes it as difficult as possible for anyone to cross while relying on their own platforming skills to make it to the goal. At the beginning of each round everyone has the opportunity to lay down a new platform, coin, hazard, or bomb to remove a platform, coin, or hazard.

A platform is a standard building block that you use to traverse the map. Platforms are totally safe by themselves and are actually useful when playing the game. Hazards range from flaming tennis ball launchers and bolt shooting crossbows, to black holes and paper plane launchers. Hazards are much more prevalent than normal platforms because they not only make playing Ultimate Chicken Horse fun and frustrating, but they are primarily the platforms you’ll use to make it to the goal. Now, granted, that’s only my experience with the game and the people I played with. So maybe if your friends aren’t total sadists there’ll be more friendly platforms than there are hazards. But nevertheless, the longer a match goes the crazier and cluttered the map will get. If your friends are busy and you don’t want to play online with strangers, you could always go into challenge mode and play user generated maps by yourself. You could also create your own maps and upload them for other players to try.

Ultimate Chicken Horse is a perfect excuse to have friends over and mercilessly beat them into the ground with your increasingly intricate levels made of nothing but paper airplane launchers and cross bows, it’s fun for the whole family! Ultimate Chicken Horse is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. A Switch version is in the works and will be released in the near future.