The much-anticipated licensed mobile game launches today. Made by mobile developer Gameloft, they show their skills with an excellent licensed My Little Pony game.
The story opens with Princess Celestia telling the tale of Nightmare Moon, but it changes from the familiar, telling the player that Twilight Sparkle manages to escape the eternal night and must save Ponyville. She’ll do this by finding the Element Stones and bringing the rest of the mane 6 back to Ponyville.
I already played some of it, and it’s pretty high-quality. There’s a lot of characters, including Time Turner, the Big Lebowski Ponies and Daring Do, and quest characters have their show voices reading the story dialogue to you. It’s very similar to games such as Sim City and Cityville, where you build houses and shops, play minigames and hire Ponyville’s residents to earn you Bits (in-game free currency) and quest items. Input is touch based, and most things can be done with only one finger. You can zoom in/out with two fingers as well.
The game itself is free, but you can skip grinding and waiting for build times by using Gems, which can be purchased via real-world currency. If you plan on letting children play this game, make sure to tweak your iTuens/Play Store settings so that they don’t inadvertently rack up charges.
This game uses a decent amount of RAM and has crisp graphics, so it will drain your battery and slow down older/cheaper phones. It also downloads extra game data after you download it from your app store of choice, so move the game to your SD card before you launch it if your internal memory is a bit low. When a pony is ready to be played with, it pushes a notification to your phone. You can also hook it up to your Facebook account, letting you visit your friends’ towns and give each other gifts.
You can play the game on iPhone 3GS-5 and iPod Touch 3rd-5th gen, as well as all the iPads. The game was optimized for iPhone 5, which has a pretty powerful chip and 1 GB Ram, so you’ll notice slowdowns with older hardware. The Play store doesn’t list hardware requirments, but it will tell you if it’s compatible with your own device(s).
I recommend playing this with a tablet, as a phone screen is pretty small and can make navigating around Ponyville difficult. I would also plug this into a power source if you’re on a phone, as this would drain your batteries quickly. If you’ve ever played Zynga’s Castleville, it’s very much the same game mechanics-wise, and it relies heavily on the Skinner’s box concept of diminishing returns. The game will become less fun over time, as it takes more money (in-game or otherwise) and time to achieve goals, but it’s still a very charming game with minimal ads and lots to offer for fans of the show of all ages.