|a game by||Independent Arts Software|
|Platforms:||PC, Playstation 2, GBA|
|Editor Rating:||3/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.2/10 - 5 votes|
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|See also:||Pet Games|
While mainstream gaming’s elite studios often fight for the right to represent the most popular sports in the world in a digital format, the world of equestrian pursuits is usually like the short heavy kid in class, waiting until last to get picked. As a result, these titles are often low budget titles, filled with bugs, lacking in content worth exploring and in general, doing the equine world a real disservice. Sadly, Horsez is another game that jumps on that bandwagon and doesn’t stick the landing, producing yet another game destined for the bargain bin.
This game plays similarity to titles like Star Stable, My Horse and Me or My Riding Stables: Life Of Horses, allowing the player to care for their equine companion, groom them, ride them and complete various mini-games to form a stronger bond with their steed.
Humans Sure Do Suck
What becomes immediately apparent within this title is that your first impressions about this game being a happy go lucky romp like Nintendogs or something of that ilk is completely ill-advised. You’ll be bombarded with horse-related tasks playing as Ginger, a resident of a very strict boarding school and bizarrely, the game will attack you for not instinctively nailing every task it throws your way. This would all be fine if the game gave you a fair chance of success. However, you’ll have to fight obtuse and obnoxious controls to get anything done, meaning that the verbal abuse you’ll receive will likely be unwarranted and out of your control.
Then when you take into account that due to this setting, you’ll be assigned tasks rather than having the freedom to do as you wish the issues with the game really begin to show themselves. The game aims to present this title in a Persona 4 Golden Style routine format but even that game lets you form your own routine. You are not in control of your time within this game and suddenly this fun game about caring for horses becomes a horrible chore.
Then in addition to the lack of freedom, the assignments you have to complete are dull and boring for the most part. Sure one of them is your typical washing, brushing and grooming of your horse which is pretty therapeutic in nature. However, the clunky riding sections, the wedged in socialisation with throwaway characters and the mandatory literature on horses that you’ll have to read to progress soon have you forgetting about the lovely time you spend making your horse look like the belle of the ball.
A Bumpy Ride
Horsez as a whole feels like a game that is confused about what it wants to be. It knows that it doesn’t want to be just another horse care simulator but in practice, it clearly doesn’t know how to achieve that with any sort of success. The game’s campaign is restrictive, poorly designed, the characters are annoying and one dimensional and despite some aspects that players who like games of this genre will enjoy, the experience will be enough to turn away even the most horse crazed girl or boy out there. If you value the majestic creature that is the horse or indeed your own mental wellbeing, stay away from this game.
- Some game modes are handled well
- Graphics are reasonable.
- The restrictive format for the game is a baffling choice
- Most game modes are clunky and boring
- The game loves to belittle you for any failure you make