November 26, 2012 by Tim

My wife is a fan of My Little Pony. She and her sister have been collecting ponies since they were kids. These days it has calmed down some, with mostly just the rare ones sought out. But we still have a room in our house that is full of them and more in storage. I’ve long gotten used to being around ponies. So it was absolutely no surprise when my wife recently began hogging the Kindle so that she could play the new My Little Pony: FIM game from Gameloft.

I sat down to watch her play it a little bit, and on the surface it looks like a Farmville knockoff. And there are certainly a lot of similarities. It follows a similar “freemium” model, in that it basically presents you two options for “completing the game”. Feed it five-hundred hours of your life, or a few hundred bucks from your wallet.

Most things can be obtained simply by grinding out the necessary mini games and regular tasks, or you can speed everything up by purchasing gems. So far my wife has managed to resist clicking the “Fuckton of gems for $99” button, but I’m certain the thought has crossed her mind.

It’s an iPhone/iPad/Android game, so the controls are nearly 100% tapping and swiping repeatedly. You tap to play mini games, you tap through the menus, and you absolutely tap like a madman to get the game’s various structurs to cough up their sweet, sweet bits (coins). Most, from what I’ve seen, won’t give up the goods on the first tap. Or the fifth. Some you have to downright fervently and borderline innappropriately jab at some of these structures over and over until they finally relent and splooge forth their golden bounty.

Gameplay-wise, things look a little thin. Not in the unlockables/shit to waste your time trying to get department… no, that stuff is almost ludicrously deep. The number of ponies you can unlock, apparently even including very minor characters from the show, is fairly impressive. There’s a lot to see here. But it also doesn’t look like there’s a lot to do in order to see it. From what I’ve read there are only three mini games, so I’d picture that getting a little tedious in a fairly short about of time.

However, I do have to admit to being pretty impressed with the production value on the game. All of the ponies (curiously enough, as you’d think 2D would be the natural decision) are fully rendered 3D models. They even feature most of the actual voice talent from the show, I’m told.

The music is cool (also from the show I think) and the entire package, at least from the perspective of an over-the-shoulder observer in this case, looks pretty well put together. I’m not sure it’s something I would necessarily pick up and play, since I don’t have a connection to the franchise, but it was entertaining to watch. And I have it on authority that if you are a fan of MLP, well then, it’s just the bees knees. If not for any actual engaging gameplay, but for being a pretty solid opportunity to mess around with your own little Ponyville.

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