My Horse is a beautiful game that pushes the technological barriers of mobile entertainment
My Horse is a detailed simulation game from NaturalMotion that turns your iOS device into a virtual horse stable, complete with competitions, horse care, and shopping. A high resolution motion-captured horse gallops across your screen and demands your attention in this display of the iOS technology, pushing the envelope in terms of how beautiful these games can truly be. Even if you aren’t a horse lover at heart, My Horse is a wonderful work of art that shows the potential of where mobile games can go in the future.
When you begin your adventure in My Horse, you are given your very own horse to name and begin growing a bond with. Everyone starts out with the same default brown horse, but is given the opportunity to customize it with its own name. Once you have named your horse, My Horse launches you into an easy-to-follow tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know to get started. Your horse spends its time relaxing and running around in a lush green pasture on your screen, but a quick tap will bring him inside into your tack room. Photos can be taken using the in-game camera, and can be sent to your friends by email or Facebook to show off your horse. The camera is rather sophisticated, giving you the option to change the view angle and the zoom of your four-legged furry friend.
Luckily, your horse isn’t just a toy for oogling at. My Horse features a number of mini-games and mechanics that offer a depth to the game that exceeds most of these virtual pet style games. Horses require food in order to keep their health meter up, which has to be mixed by you. Feeding your horse means launching into an easy mini-game that involves combining different types of grain into your bucket, then mixing the food by tapping and dragging in a circular motion on your screen. Your horse also requires grooming and treats in order to stay happy. Everyone wants a happy horse!
Another mini-game is the pasture cleaning game, where you have to click on the plants and the manure in the correct order (as indicated by icons along the side of the game) to pick them up and beautify your horse’s pasture. This game doesn’t provide much of a challenge, but offers a bit more variation than simply clicking on-screen buttons to do actions.
A major aspect of My Horse is the competitions, events that you can enter with your horse and compete with other players online. Competitions require a healthy happy horse and provide a large bonus of coins and experience for winning. Before you can enter competitions, you have to practice on a simple course to get the controls down. The first competitions are show jumping, so the mini-game requires you to push a button on the screen at the exact time to navigate your horse over a jump.
The competition itself is a more difficult version of the practice runs and uses a matchmaking service to automatically place you in a contest with other players. After all players have competed, you are ranked accordingly and shown the results of your efforts. The better you do, the better your coin and XP reward will be. A large competition ladder allows you to continue advancing through competitions as you gain more levels. Purchasing tack and clothing from the shop in My Horse gives your horse the edge in competitions, but requires quite a bit of coin.
My Horse feels like plenty more than just a technology demo, there is a fun core game buried within. The social features allow you to play against other players and also visit your friends’ and see their farms. There is also plenty of content to explore as players can purchase additional horses and level them all up for competition. I’m a horse addict myself, so naturally I haven’t been able to put down this pretty title. Other people who are not quite so fond of horses might find that the game falls short in terms of deep gameplay. However, there isn’t much out there in terms of horse games on the App Store, and My Horse is a beautifully detailed and welcomed addition that will more than appeal to its targeted horse loving demographic.