Pony Friends

Reviewed by Martin Henely, Posted on 2007-08-05


Developer: Tantalus Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: May 29, 2007 Also On: None

For better or for worse, Nintendo started a craze with their line of Nintendogs games. Ubisoft has released a whole line of games such as Dogz, Catz, etc., and now even Eidos is getting in on the genre with one of their latest releases, Pony Friends. Is this latest entry into the animal simulation genre any good, or is it a game that you would be better off avoiding? Read on to find out.

Graphically, Pony Friends is pretty good. The backgrounds look fairly realistic, as do the ponies. With all the options for creating a pony, you can get some very interesting designs, but, regardless of what your pony looks like, he will act appropriately, and the animations for these actions will look quite realistic. In terms of sound, there is, as with most third party DS games, no voice acting, but the sound effects sound very realistic. What parts of the game have music, the music is decent, but unobtrusive. Overall, the aesthetics of this game help to convey the atmosphere of the game.

If only the gameplay could be more exciting, though. This game revolves around raising a pony. True, the fans of the Nintendogs games and their clones would want a game like this, but the general gamer will get bored really fast with all of the repetition of monotonous tasks and other such things. I will concede, however, that the use of the stylus to perform most of these actions is appropriate and feels right for most of the things you'll use it for.

I'll give the game this much. There's a lot to do in it. You can clean your pony with water and shampoo. You can clean out his feet by brushing or picking rocks out of his hoof. You can feed your pony snacks to make him happier. You can take him to a vet to try to heal him if he gets sick. You can take him on rides during which you can try to take pictures of animals by touching them with the stylus. You can even enter your pony in races, a mode which comes with a mechanic for you to cheer your pony on using the DS microphone. And I have hardly come close to mentioning all of the things that can be done in this game.

The problem is, though, that most of these things have to be done on a regular basis, and many of them become monotonous and feel more like work than an entertaining game. Granted, that's what is to be expected from a game like this, but it still bored me half to death because I wasn't used to it. I generally crave some semblance of action/adventure, or at least a fast pace, to most games that I play, and that is not to be found here.

This review is briefer than most that I write because there isn't much more that needs to be said. Those people who are into this type of game will love it and will get a lot of time out of it. The rest will hate it and probably would never touch it a second time. If I were you, I'd find someone who owned the game and either borrow it from them or at least download a demo from them to get a bit of a feel for the game and try it before buying it. Even then, I hesitate to recommend this game, not because it's badly produced, but simply because I didn't find it entertaining.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 4
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 6
Written by Martin Review Guide

Reviewed by Martin Henely