Silver Buckle Stables
Mara here. I got an e-mail recently asking me what I thought of reviewing horse-related games, and I thought, "Great! There's no way I'm doing that!" So here we have our first excited volunteer. Everyone meet Aimee. She's our video game and whatnot guest reviewer until she feels like not doing it anymore. And with no further ado...
Okay, let's start -- I'm a bit of a gamer. I play Sid Meier's Civilization, SimCity, Transport Tycoon Deluxe, and Railroad Tycoon. Mostly strategy or simulation games. But I also like horse games. I don't have a huge collection yet, but I'll do a few reviews of what I do have. First off -- Let's Ride! Silver Buckle Stables. This is one of my first horse games, so I may be a bit biased, but whatever.
Description (from Amazon):
You're the owner of a new horse farm, Silver Buckle Stables! Choose your horse, pick out your riding outfits and even accessorize your horse with saddles, ribbons and more. The competitions are tough, but practice hard at the corral to perfect your riding technique and you'll make it to the Equestrian Center where you can show off your skills to win blue ribbons and buckles!
When you first start, you get to choose whether you're a girl or boy, then you get to customize your character.
Then you get to choose your horse. One great thing about this game is that there are plenty of ways to customize it, unlike some other games where there's only about three or four different coats.
The game is about Western riding and competitions -- and there's little irritation. When you're riding the horse, the character is holding the reins with both hands, as in English riding. There are lots of trails at first, but after a while it gets boring and makes you wish you could import your own maps. I will say now this game has pretty decent graphics for being a budget game.
This is a pretty easy game. No plot, and if you want, you can just ride around the trails all day. Grooming and feeding is simplistic. A bit too simplistic, but at least you're not spending 5 minutes grooming after every ride (as some games make you do.) In the barn, you can also pick up treats -- when you feed them to your horse, their levels in the health meter (lower left hand corner) go up. Good idea to always carry a few.
As you go through competitions and get "Silver Buckles", the horse's "hearts" increase. Which makes it "run" (huh?) faster and increases the effects of treats. As well, you get more customization options, and you get to pick out more horsies! Yay!
In total you can have four horses. Once you're done all the competitions and exploring the trails and stuff, there's not much left to do. And it does get repetitive after a while. And if you like a challenge... this isn't for you.
One last thought: It's fun to gallop through the streambeds trying to avoid the rocks!