I am not a gamer girl. I play farming simulators and that’s about it.
I grew up playing Farmville (Zenya) before smartphones allowed you to check on your crops. I was in a Facebook group with mostly old people where people shared extra animals. I was friends with my classmates’ parents not my classmates.
Over the summer I started playing Stardew Valley (Eric Barone) on PC which I will maybe write a review on later (I have strong feelings on it after sharing it with unappreciative friends). To this day I’ve logged 100+ hours on it.
But last semester, I needed something to look forward to at the end of finals. So I split a Switch Game with Mark Goldwater ‘21 as a joke during Cyber Monday sales.
I saw this game and I was like, “Haha, it would be so funny if we bought this.” So we did and it was.
Let me be clear: you would play this game as you would watch a bad movie. It was made in Unity originally for PS2. Anupama Krishnan ‘20, said she played it as a kid and nothing has changed since then. The graphics prove this isn’t a lie.
The gist of the game is that you bought a rundown horse stable, and you need to bring it back to its former glory. So you buy some horses (you also get to customize your first one), feed them, clean them, clean their hooves, fix their health, massage them, and ride them. There are nine races you have to win.
You have to make money to upgrade your place and maintain your horses. To do this you originally have enough money to buy a horse track where you train other people’s horses so they follow directions (more on this later).
You can then save up to buy the following: a massage parlor, a breeding stable, and a guest house. In the massage parlor, (which is the most efficient way to make money) you massage horses. In the breeding stable, you pair one of your horses with a stud and instantly produce a horse for a client. Lastly, the guest house can be upgraded to host up to 9 guests which stand in front of your house waiting for you to check in (see bullet 9 on the following list).
It’s a terrible game in a few ways:
1 Your person can’t turn, and thus you must do multi step turns or walk backwards.
2 There isn’t really an explanation of the controls. (Two examples are: turning your horse in races and completing a massage.)
3 You can only have 6 horses at a time.
4 In the track you own, the horses don’t have a turn animation and it’s scary.
5 When you clean their hooves, the hoof will just go away and come at you in the screen which is alarming as well.
6 Everytime you feed your horse, it scoots you to the right as you dab.
7 You can only buy a certain quantity of items at a time. (ie 10 supplements)
8 The only way you learn what you should be doing is because you realize things are going really bad.
9 This guests just check out your horses without warning and return them to you filthy as heck.
10 The quality of your stable is based on how many races you’ve completed, but you can only complete one race a week.
Which brings me to the fact that I’ve put more hours into this game than I’d like to admit because I still have to feed and clean my horses every day.
If you’d like to try it, here are some tips when you start playing.
A Live with the multistep turns and get good at walking backwards or you will waste your in game time.
B Do not feed your horses hay. Feed them either Barley & Oats or Pellets (Pellets preferred).
C When you feed them, feed them once without supplements and once with supplements. (This is how you make sure they have energy and heath)
D Do not skip the first Sunday of races, practice with your horse (the same one over and over for the week) starting Thursday.
E Only check in guests Mon-Wed so they don’t take the horse you’re trying to race with.
F You check on your horses’ stats with the RZ button. If they have more than have health just groom/hose them down. Checking if they’re hooves are clean wastes your in game time. This is good for checking their health as well.
G Aim for the Three Gold Hooves, this gives you points (you can only buy certain things with points).
H The Three Gold Hooves come from grooming (not hosing), cleaning their hooves, and massaging them (without a saddle) at the parlor.
I To massage at the parlor, when you get the horse press A. Look at the yellow circle with green arrows. If an arrow turns off, move the brush that way. Click again. I recommend just looking at that compass (sometimes the fastest massage is when the brush isn’t touching the horse).
J Enjoy the game, it’s pretty fun.
Overall, I’d like to say that if the game didn’t have bad handling and controls it would be pretty boring. The horses are cute and you get to Dress Them Up with flowers in their hair. You also get to buy some cute outfits.
Anyways, if you have any questions please reach out to me. Mark (he’s a bystander) and I sometimes play it in the EH2AL.