Pony Friends Review for DS

Platform: DS Check Price
If you love ponies you'll probably love Pony Friends
If you love ponies you'll probably love Pony Friends

If you love ponies you'll probably love Pony Friends

I'm going to hazard a guess here, and take it that you're not reading this because you're after the latest Halo beater, or epic, niche role-playing game. If you are, go elsewhere. Pony Friends is a game that knows its target demographic, which is clearly girls of primary school age who spend days in the classroom dreaming of tying ribbons in manes and nights at home dreaming of cantering and trotting.

For that group of youngsters this game is the perfect virtual realisation of such innocent daydreams, that will no doubt give parents a lengthy break from constant begging that next Christmas a Pony is stuffed down the chimney by Santa Claus.

For anyone else this elaborate Pony Tamagotchi will almost feel nothing like a game, and more like a menu-based simulation of the kind of work that is usually accompanied by the reek of manure and overbearing women in ill-fitting jodhpurs.

But reviewing this atypical Eidos release in comparison to the latest PS3 blockbuster would be as unfair as entering a Pony into the Grand National. So, in pursuit of fairness, let's have a look at what Pony Club offers the pre-teen Calamity Jane.

'... you can create and care for customised virtual ponies, keeping an eye on their health, diet, training and exercise routines.'

Essentially, you can create and care for customised virtual ponies, keeping an eye on their health, diet, training and exercise routines. As a simple stallion management system, Pony Club is actually fairly thorough. Riding and racing your ponies will tire and dirty them, meaning you will have to spend time picking stones from their hooves, shampooing and conditioning their hair, grooming their mane and keeping an eye out for potential illness.

Ponies are fickle beasts of burden, meaning their happiness, affected by their health, is paramount for a good performance. As well as petting your collection of miniature steeds and feeding them treats, you must be certain you apply hoof ointment, shower them with gifts and even make sure that you stroke and clean their hide with the grain of their hair, rather than against. Your selection of picky ponies will even kick up a fuss if you groom them too quickly.

The other major part of the game is the racing and the riding. The former simply relies on making sure your compact colt is on top form before race day, and on shouting encouragement into the DS microphone during the race. Hilariously, if you yell too loudly you will startle your poor ponies into under performing.

It's essential that you keep your pony clean

It's essential that you keep your pony clean

The standard riding is the most surreal of the game elements, and perhaps borrows most closely from on-rails shooters like Time Crisis. Rather than taking direct control over your dainty ride, you assume the perspective of the jockey, following a prescribed route. Using the stylus to direct a stills camera, you can take shots of the local wildlife for cash rewards to finance your habit, and spot new riding paths and accessories hidden in the trees. As a riding game this is laughable, but as a collecting mechanic it is fantastic.

Graphically the horse models are genuinely great, and much of the loading screen artwork is akin to the kind of design usually reserved for trendy Londoners' coffee table books. Sadly the menus themselves are rather uninspiring, but nonetheless the game's visuals are a genuine surprise.

If you're don't shiver with excitement at the mere thought of a lovely pretty little pony, forget about this, but if you have a daughter who is overwhelmed by the desire to put pink things on mammals, then this is an excellent little package that has plenty more to offer than two halves of a coconut, and comes in at far less than the cost of a saddle.

New stuff to check out

Comments

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

Lost's Avatar
Delete Post

Lost

Hey I have the Pony Friends for the DS and I'm at the sherman lake where you need to find a raccoon and a beaver and for the life of me I can not find this damn elusive beaver. anyone has any help for me PLEASE
Posted 02:02 on 24 February 2009
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ X

Quote:
Originally Posted by X
How do you know when it is morning on pony friends ds ?
++ Umm where are the three skunks in the morning so that i can get dome money to treat my ill horse ?
:D Thanks for your time x
. .x

I had a quick look at the walkthrough for Pony Friends over at gamefaqs.com for you, apparently:

Morning: Midnight to 6am (sunrise/sunset icon)
Day: 6am to 6pm (bright or cloudy sun icon)
Night: 6pm to midnight (stars icon)

and the skunks appear in the morning in Fernhill Forest.
Posted 16:40 on 08 November 2008
X's Avatar
Delete Post

X

How do you know when it is morning on pony friends ds ?
++ Umm where are the three skunks in the morning so that i can get dome money to treat my ill horse ?
:D Thanks for your time x
. .x
Posted 16:37 on 08 November 2008
XoxO's Avatar
Delete Post

XoxO

This game is kinda hard!!! How do you make your horse happy?!
Posted 05:14 on 01 August 2008
Horse lover's Avatar
Delete Post

Horse lover

<b> Both games are great!</b>
<b>But I would get Pony Friends!</b>
I have both games, but if you are horse-crazy, like myself, I would recremend Pony Friends or other horses games like: Horsez, Horsez 2, and others that are great.
Pony Friends is my favorite game out of the 10 that I have, so I would get it!
Posted 22:46 on 18 June 2008
ponylover's Avatar
Delete Post

ponylover

TO LAURA

GET PONY AND FRIENDS
Posted 03:14 on 16 February 2008
ponylover's Avatar
Delete Post

ponylover

ponys rock and well my mate has this game it totally rox I love IT SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much and if u love ponies you'll LOVE this and even though it's 4 and up 4 it's Genral rating I'm 13 and love it
Posted 03:09 on 16 February 2008
SNAKE MASTER's Avatar
Delete Post

SNAKE MASTER

i didnt relis this was hear because i go on the man one!!!!
Posted 09:07 on 23 August 2007
Sezzers's Avatar
Delete Post

Sezzers

I think you should get pony friends its brill! you can gallop around the woods and pretend its your own horse! you should definetly get it! i have played on nintenddogs aswel and its nowhere as near good!
Posted 16:19 on 21 July 2007
rcjpeace's Avatar
Delete Post

rcjpeace

I for one am a horses fantic and I have Horez for Ds its ok but i might get pony and friends today dono yet.but i would get nintendogs then pony and friends. Nintendogs its easz to get money. Then later get Pony.
Posted 19:51 on 08 June 2007
Jade's Avatar
Delete Post

Jade

i personally think nintendogs is crap and i would choose pony friends
Posted 21:44 on 03 June 2007
Jone's Avatar
Delete Post

Jone

I think you should get nintendogs. It can be boring sometimes....but there is a horse games like nintendogs, but it can be boring also, the horse game is called Horsez.
Posted 14:23 on 02 June 2007
Laura's Avatar
Delete Post

Laura

Hmm....I'll be getting a ds for my birthday and I want either this or nintendogs for it...I don't know which to choose! I'm absolutely obsessed with horses but i'm worried it will be boring and aimed at only pre-teen girls (i'll be 18). Can anyone say whether nintendogs is better than this? If they're similar, I would choose this. YAY for horses!
Posted 22:45 on 29 May 2007

Game Stats

7
Out of 10
Pony Friends
  • A great little simulator for pony fans
  • A surprisingly well designed DS game
  • Not really 'gameplay' as such
  • A very niche title
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 18/05/2007
Platform: DS
Developer: Tantalus
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Genre: Virtual Pet
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 4,403 83
Check Price