While Rainbow Pony is cute enough, it’s certainly no Robot Unicorn
By now, most iPhone gamers should be familiar with the genre of “running” games; that is, games that do little more than challenge you to run to the right as far as you can until you either die, run out of time or give up. Rainbow Pony does little beyond the standard, and its charm simply can’t carry it for too long.
“Simple” describes the game well, as the only real gameplay found has you running your finger across the screen, drawing a rainbow for the pony to run on. You do have a few modes to choose from – Normal, Survival and Timed – each only varying slightly from the other. Normal has you running until you reach a goal at the end of the stage, Survival has your pony running until it takes a hit and dies and Timed tasks you with earning as many points as possible until time runs out. To earn a high score, you’ll need to pick up the several candy items (candy canes, gummy bears etc.) along the way, each having their own point amount available.
Regardless of the gameplay mode, your pony can grab power-ups along the way which will make it run faster. On top of that, there are also some bombs on your screen that will slow you down if you don’t draw your path to avoid them. In Survival mode however, the bombs will just kill the pony and skip slowing down altogether.
A lot of iPhone games rely heavily on graphical charm, and Rainbow Pony is no exception. The graphics are Candy Land-esque, yet 8-bit in quality and the sound is like that of a summer carnival. The problem lies not in the game’s appearance or sound, but in that the gameplay is simply not that interesting, especially when compared to other, better games of this same type (such as Monster Dash and Robot Unicorn Attack).
Even though Rainbow Pony has three gameplay modes, the only real challenge is found in the Survival mode. In Normal and Timed modes, you can simply hold your finger anywhere on the screen and the pony will keep going until the stage or timer ends. However, in Survival mode, the challenge is on the other end of the spectrum where it is simply too difficult to be fun because of the large amount of bombs on screen. Perhaps some extra lives in Survival mode would have helped with the difficulty.
At the end of the day, Rainbow Pony isn’t necessarily a bad game – it just suffers from a lack of originality (outside of the general “rainbow” theme) and gameplay features. While the game is fun the first time you start playing, this feeling will only last a few minutes until you’ve seen everything there is to see. It’s difficult to recommend Rainbow Pony, mainly due to the other, more interesting options available for the same price or less.