Monday, May 28, 2012

My Horse

No, I didn't buy a horse.

I'm talking about the My Horse game for iPad (a gift from graduation). I would not consider myself a gamer, though years ago I loved watching the video game review show on TechTV because they went on awesome tangents. Anyway, I never understood the appeal of Farmville-like games, especially since many of the people I know who play them already own horses or even LIVE on farms. Clicking on dinky little icons and having to wait hours to see the results seemed like work rather than play. But now...I see the light.

Wee! Look at her go! No dinky icons for me!
With no real-life responsibilities for the time being, I find myself logging in to My Horse four or five times a day  about every other minute. I stayed up till 2am last night trying to get to Level 9 with my realistic-looking "brown" Quarter Horse MsCantBWrong (name inspired by the 90s song with the totally trippy video).

Er...ok, maybe not SO realistic. They have some kinks to work out with the animation. Little Miss Can't Be Wrong can switch leads all by herself in the field, but she flings up her head at the trot as if she is really ouchy. And no wonder, she kind of looks like her legs are broken or like she's doing Big Lick:
The great thing about My Horse is that it combines real-life aspects of horse ownership like:

 more mucking,
and grooming the muck off your horse
with AWESOME, totally made-up aspects of horse ownership. Like getting money for winning shows (that are free to enter), grooming, and even training your horse. Your horse can even make money for you by giving lessons, starring in TV shows, and modeling in photo shoots. Another realistic aspect of the game is that everything you have to buy is ridiculously expensive, so you're suckered into playing for another hour or fifteen to afford a blanket that will match your horse's boots.
"Money...makes life happy!" (one thousand magical unicorn sparkles to person who identifies the quote).
Aside from the insidious addictiveness of the game, I have two bones to pick. A game like this would be really great for teaching kids the basics about maybe actually using the correct words for horse colors, not "brown" or "red," but "bay" and "chestnut." It might also be a good idea to differentiate between the disciplines, ie. not having barrels in a jump class and actually using discipline-appropriate saddles. Maybe that's just me being nitpicky, but as a horse person it is kind of annoying to see this called a jump saddle:
What is this? Australian? Endurance? Definitely not a jumping saddle. Also...turtle?
The other part I don't like is the user interface when riding. It's really easy (think DDR controls), but the camera angle tends to switch RIGHT at the moment you need to click to jump or turn around a barrel. It's almost impossible to watch your pretty pony go over the jumps because you have to look at the meter at the bottom of the screen to get the timing right, and sometimes the camera angle actually obscures the action.
Jeez, what is with her tail?
I get lots of shinies, but I can't see the action!
So that's kind of annoying, but there are many hilariously weird parts of the game that redeem it for me. Like the available tack options:
I want this in real life.
This is the ONLY halfway normal-looking English saddle available.
Why do I have to wait till level 47 and pay 7650 coins to get a plain white saddle pad?
Also, you can buy a unicorn.

If you poke the unicorn, it rears up just like a real unicorn.

So that's my unsolicited review of My Horse. If you have an iPad and want to play me, the game is free and my username is clakeful.



    1. Lol, I second that! The game is fun but not $500 worth of fun. You'd be better off putting the money toward showing in real life!

  2. Love the review! My coworker has this game and constantly sends me pictures of her horse, I keep thinking it looks like an extremely malformed Akhal Teke.

    1. A very apt description. I'm not sure why they insist that it is a QH.