I recently discovered Horse Haven, a mobile horse breeding, horse racing, horse dress-up game. As a lover of My Little Pony back in the 80s and 90s (I never got into Friendship is Magic, I didn’t like the new style of artwork or the new style of the toys, that’s just me.), I immediately was drawn to Horse Haven when I saw the ads featuring fantasy cartoon looking horses.
The gameplay is simplistic, as most mobile games. You build up various farms by placing new buildings, upgrading buildings, and then breeding and raising, and racing and showing horses in events like steeple chase or dressage.
The simulation elements of getting to design your own farms, following a very light story/with a few characters here or there, and the excitement of trying to breed rare breeds or score high points in the races and dressage shows, makes the game a great escape.
I also discovered Rival Stars Racing and another horse game (whose name I don’t remember at the moment). I’m preparing a review for Rival Stars Racing next.
Rival Stars Racing has better gameplay and a deeper story than Horse Haven, but Horse Haven has the fantasy horses and the cute cartoon graphics. Rival Stars Racing does have better/more diverse horses as it’s completely randomly generated. Rival Stars Racing reminds me a bit of Pony Island back in the day. Anyone else ever play that game? I was addicted to it in the early 2000s. It was a neopets type of website with My Little Pony inspired artwork, and all the breeds like sea ponies, pegasus, unicorn….
Horse Haven in a way reminds me of Pony Island, because of the fantasy races/colors… But it lacks the best part of Pony Island… the randomly generated “genetics” system… Other popular web games in this time had this feature too – anyone remember Wajas? – Rival Stars Racing also has this “genetics” feature 🙂 Overall Rival Stars Racing is the better game out of the two I’ve played so far when compared to Horse Haven. But Horse Haven is cuter and more fantasy based, so there’s room for both games!
Breeding in Horse Haven works differently. You spin a wheel and have a chance to create one of 3-4 different breeds by breeding X breed with Y breed. The worst thing about the breeding is the RARE horses/Cash/Event horses can only breed with the exact same other horse, making them USELESS for breeding with any of your other horses. This part kinda angers me since I purchased the summer horse… but it is a pretty horse… But I would like it to be able to breed with other horses still… sigh.
Horse Haven is currently celebrating its 5th year anniversary. While I think Rival Stars Racing is a newer game. Horse Haven does not have voice acting, but does have some nice happy cute music.
The gameplay in Horse Haven is more simplistic and easy for younger gamers or gamers who don’t like overly complicated gameplay. The horses run themselves and you only need to tap to jump over the hurdles. It also has other things to do besides just racing.
I love the dressage shows. You can teach your horse different moves like cantering or flying charge. Different breeds can sometimes have different moves specific to that breed.
It does teach you a lot about how to care for a horse too! You can muck out the stalls, lay fresh hay, feed the horses, groom the horses, etc.
Overall if you love building sims, horses, or my little pony, you will love Horse Haven.
Overall: 68/90 76% C “Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 2/5 – Simplistic Gameplay but some unique features I have not seen in other Horse games such as Dressage and teaching your horse different moves, etc.
Sweetie: 5/5 – This game as I mentioned, totally reminds me of My Little Pony with its fantasy breeds and colorful cartoony art. I definitely prefer this style over the ultra-realistic style.
Gameplay: 10/10 – As mentioned, the gameplay although simplistic, offers a huge variety of things to do, from dressage to steeple chase to designing your farm, to dressing up the horses, competing in events, and much more.
Story: 2/10 – Not much of a story, you inherit a rundown farm from your aunt, your cousin helps you get started and interacts as an NPC. I don’t feel very involved in the story or with any of the characters.
Characters: 2/10 – The human characters aren’t drawn very cutely, and have almost no personality, and in fact a few of them are quite annoying.
Graphics: 10/10 – very cute and colorful horses with a lot of different breeds and fantasy elements.
Music: 5/10 – Just kinda average.
Voice Acting: None Not Applicable.
Replay Value: 10/10 – There are constantly new events and limited seasonal horses being released. This keeps players coming back.
Cuteness: 10/10 – My Little Pony 80s-90s memories come flooding back.
Retroness: 10/10 – Things that are Retro or from my Childhood the 80s/90s Makes me happy :).
I added these last two to pad the score a bit to better reflect my enjoyment and why I have enjoyed the game 🙂
Overall: 68/90 76% C “Good Game For Girls”