Howrseby Aethyna Nov 13, 2014 | 4 Votes | 2 Played | 1 Reviews
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There’s a very good reason that Howrse is being touted as the one of the best text-based horse simulation game on the internet since 2005, Howrse is the perfect example of what a horse simulation game should be. The game offers plenty of beautiful horses, ponies and also horse accessories for players to choose from. With unique gameplay, a competitive edge as well as other fun features like horse reproduction (or breeding), trading and training!
There is no particular plotline in this game since it is a horse simulation game. However, you are free to devise an either realistic or fantastical background story for your horses on how you came to own, breed or find them. You can also set up a story for your equestrian center as well, in addition to boosting its appeal to other players to board their horses at your center.
Howrse starts off by prompting you to choose your first horse. Would you like a horse or a pony? Which gender, breed or coat would you like it to have? There are plenty of choices for you to choose from! In terms of breeds, you can choose from thoroughbred, Arabian, Appaloosa and many others. All of these breeds will have their good and bad sides in, such as galloping, trotting and jumping. So, you will need to know what you would like your horse to be good in before you start choosing. In addition, each breed of horse can be further customized by picking your favorite coat. Once you’re done, you are ready to get to the good stuff!
Being a new player to the game, you are given extensive guidance by a cute talking monkey called Ow on how to take care of your horse or pony (by grooming, nursing and stroking it) as well as how to navigate the site in the form of chain quests. You will soon learn that horses in Howrse require a minimum of 10 hours of sleep each day and that you will need to end a day with more than 20% energy. Any less than that amount of sleep will result in decreased energy and morale for the next day or if it’s severe, your foal may just die. Do note that higher morale is important as it will reduce the energy cost for your horse to perform actions. You will also learn that over-feeding or under-feeding your foal will cause your foal’s health to drop as well. With such vital information at hand, you will be able to get on your own two feet in Howrse in no time!
The age of your horse plays a huge role in unlocking new features in this game. For example for the first half-year of your foal’s life, it will need to be nursed. However, once it hits 6-month old, you’ll need to provide fodders for your foal to feed on. That is also the time when you can board your foal into an equestrian center for a price for a couple of days. By boarding your foal, it will get access to a meadow, a box, bedding, and training (that can only be performed after your foal reached adulthood). The new options that are unlocked for a boarded horse is very important in order to improve your horse’s stats, namely stamina, speed, dressage, gallop, trot and jumping, as well as to provide a few other alternatives for your horse to regain any lost energy. For instance, having a meadow is advantageous in the way that it can reduce the amount of fodder (or, as your horse grows older, oats) that you need to provide to your horse.
At 8-month old, your foal will be able to play. Playing is an excellent way to prepare your foal for its future training and lessons, because playing will award your foal with some skill points for all its stats. However, playing consumes quite an amount of energy. If you ran out of energy (or have less than 20%), putting your horse in a box is a great way to replenish your horse’s energy without the hassle of accidentally over-feeding it. You can also stroke your horse or feed it some fruity treats to restore some energy.
After celebrating your horse’s 1 year and 6 month’s birthday, you can now bring your horse out for a ride! There are 3 types of riding that you can select from trot, gallop and steep slope. These rides will consume energy and reward your horse with slightly more skill points for selected stats. However, if you want to earn skill points faster, you could hasten your horse’s aging up to 2 years old by using aging points. By now, your horse would have unlocked training at the equestrian center. Training rewards your horse with more skill points than riding, but consumes more energy in return.
Breeding is another fun and important feature in Howrse that is unlocked once your horse reaches 2 years and 6 month old! By setting up your gelding with a mare, you can get a new foal in 12 months! The gameplay involved in breeding is very realistic. Your pregnant mare will have to stop training or rides at its 8th month of pregnancy. You can even get your mare an ultrasound for a mere 50 Equus (in-game currency) to get the first look on the gender and breed of its progeny as well as its coat color. Breeding can be used as a way to earn more Equus too! If a player expresses interest in reserving your horse for a covering, you may lend your horse to him or her for a price. You could put your horse up for public covering as well.
With a couple more quick aging, your horse would now be 3 years old. Congratulations by the way! By now, your horse is considered a full grown adult and can participate in the many competitions available in Howrse. However, before you start searching for a suitable competition, you’ll need to get the necessary gear first! You can buy bridle, saddle and saddle blanket from the shop. These items will give your horse a slight boost to its stats. Moreover, you can also further equip your horse with additional items like bonus items or other horse-related gear as well.
Is your horse suited up? Good. Let’s go beat some competitors at the tracks! In Howrse, there are 2 types of specialty that you can sign your horse up for classic riding or western riding. Once signed, your horse will specialize in that area and you cannot switch the horse’s specialty, so do choose wisely. Then, head on to the list of competitions available and join up! Each competition will also drain your horse of its energy, therefore, remember to charge your horse up with energy before going into any competition.
With breeding you may have a shot at getting a foal with a champion horse’s genetic potential. However, it can be pretty slow and finding an excellent mare and gelding can be hard. Hence, trading horses is another way you can get your hands on elite horses from other breeders that can blaze through the competition. Unfortunately for new players, this feature will only be unlocked after you have gained 10 days seniority. This means that you will have to log in for at least 10 days before you can access the trade function. If you log in for at least 20 days, Howrse will allow you to set up and manage your very own equestrian center!
There is also a ranking feature in Howrse whereby you compete with the many players in Howrse for the top 10 spot! There are rankings for almost everything from having the highest stats to being the best equestrian center in the game. It’s pretty hard to earn any of these by yourself, thus it’s best to join a team if you aim for any of the prestigious top ranks in the game.
Furthermore, the game offers trophies for personal achievements as well. Most of these trophies are collection-based, meaning that you will have to collect all the coat colors for, for example, the Arabian horse before you can earn yourself a trophy. Getting a trophy can be as challenging as getting a high rank in the leaderboard, so do expect to put in plenty of hours and effort in helping your horses to be in the best possible condition that they could be.
With 10 million players signed up and with tens of thousands of players logged in every day as evident by the statistics shown on the log in page, the player base in this horse simulation game can be considered as pretty huge!
As a matter of fact, Howrse is so popular among horse game lovers that they collaborated and set up a Howrse wikia page in order to help newcomers, as well as old-hands, whenever anybody encounters any problems in the game. If you don’t like wikis, you can head to the site forum to get help instead!
Lastly, in an effort to further expand its population, the game also offers hefty rewards to players who manage to recruit new players to the game. It’s a win-win situation the game gets new players and you, being the recruiter, can earn yourself some sweet gear and bonuses for your horses!
Despite being text-based, the game has very pleasing graphics! The images of the horses are very well-done and the background image of the countryside with mountains at a distance is absolutely beautiful. The shades of colors offered in the game are particularly noticeable as they are very much different from each other for instance, mouse gray, dapple gray and light gray although they are practically the same color.
The game does not provide any background sound or voice acting, but since it is a text-based game, this is excusable although it would have been great to have some sound added in.
The joy that Howrse brought to horse and pony lovers worldwide is indisputable! It has everything that a horse simulation game should have… and more! You can take care of and breed your horses, set up your own equestrian center, join up with a team and sign your horses up for competitions in this game. There are also plenty of bonus items in-game that you can find for or purchase in order to give your horses some extra boost. Lastly, although it lacks any background sound, Howrse has great-looking graphics, especially of the horses (that’s what matters most!). Howrse, in short, is an excellent horse simulation game that horse-loving casual gamers can enjoy.
Howrse Blogby Aethyna Nov 13, 2014
User ReviewsPlease fill in the title and the full review fields The review text can be a maximum of 10000 characters long Please rank the game before submitting your review The review title can be a maximum of 50 characters long Aug 13, 2015 | 0 Votes
Great art, and simple gameplayHowrse has been around for 10 years now, since it first appeared in the Internet in 2005.
The reason it stuck so long because it is an excellent horse simulation game. When you sign up, you will be...Full Review All reviews