Gem Hunting #2: Malicious Mansions, Silly Scribbles and Pursuing Pastries
While we're admittedly a bit light on the news front so far these past few days, I think another small, conveniently-timed batch of previously overlooked horsegames could make up for it a little bit, don't you? This time around, we're guiding our favorite technicolor horses through some assorted shenanigans including malicious mansions, silly scribbles and the endless pursuit of pastries! Check 'em out below the break!
okay yeah i did in fact work the subtitle into the intro paragraph to pad it out. fight me about it in real life why don't you okay gosh.
Let's get a little fancy and kick things off with something ever-so-slightly different, shall we? The Manor, developed by slicer4ever, is your typical Choose Your Own Adventure game involving Trixie wandering into (surprise, surprise!) a haunted manor that she must escape from. Along the way, she must survive countless tricks and traps at every turn, devised by the entity that possesses the mansion, and perhaps even save someone else on the way; she must be careful, however, as one wrong turn can lead her to an assortment of fates much worse than an untimely demise.
All in all, this is actually a pretty decent little adventure game, and I have to admit how nice it is to have one you can actually complete at that! Of course, as all games do, it has some pitfalls, with one of the most prominent examples (not pictured in the above screenshot) being that the artwork is extremely artifact-laden if played on the deviantART page; you'll need to play the game in full screen to remedy this if you're bothered by that kind of thing. Artwork and artifacts aside, however, most other issues at hand here are essentially just nitpicks in comparison: the single piece of Luigi's Mansion music in the whole game, for example, certainly fits the game but tends to become grating the longer the play session goes. The text, as you can see in the screenshot, has a tendency to clash with the background fairly often, and can strain the eyes a bit over time. There's also the matter of the amount of overlap between choices made and routes taken between game sessions, which can limit replayability somewhat going forward since after one or two goes you'll inevitably fall back into a string of events you've already played through and know how to solve.
If you're itching for a nice, simple and relatively short colorful horse CYOA, this should be right up your alley!
Heading up the middle of this edition's horsegame trio is something a bit more simple to follow than that considerably more complex CYOA up there, haha! Drud14's Coloring with Sweetie Belle, part of the popular Explore Ponyville package, is a game that I find myself actually, genuinely surprised was never talked about on this website before, considering I do actually remember when this one came out, and to my recollection this was decently popular immediately after its release. Regardless, we have here a simple little drawing game, in which your only mission is to, as the creator puts it, "[h]elp Sweetie Belle gain approval from her big sister, Rarity, by making a crayon masterpiece that she'll be sure to love!"
That's pretty much the long and short of it, really! You're completely free to draw any variety of things (as seen above, for example) to submit for Rarity's judgment, though whether you'll receive a positive or negative response is entirely random. Sometimes, you can just write "MEME" on a piece of paper and she'll love it, or you can actually put in time and effort only to receive a haughty, emphatic "this is trash." Just like real life!
Overall, the only complaints to be had here are the slight weirdness of the few animations in the game, the presentation cutscene only really focusing on the top half of the paper, and the frequent voice clips in the background can definitely get on your nerves after a few loops. Otherwise, it's a nice little time waster and definitely good for a chuckle or two! Or more, even, if you're into Dresshorse happily complimenting as many obscenities as you can think to draw.
hint: its me i'm that person
Finally, we're rounding this batch of games out with yet another simple-but-addictive entry in the form of SuomafGamer's Flutternight, a Nightmare Night-themed side-scroller tasking Fluttershy with...uh, flying through the sky collecting massive amounts of pastries and candy while avoiding stationary birds as fast as possible.
Alright, so the premise is a bit weird, but this is a show about magical talking horses solving problems with ~friendship~, y'know, so not everything always has to make sense, I suppose!
Overall (keeping this one a bit short since this article's running long as it is), this is a pretty well-done little sidescroller than can keep you glued to it for a surprisingly long time. While the premise is certainly something, the relatively decent controls, nice looping-but-pleasant backing track, plentiful achievements and equally plentiful upgrades that actually provide a noticeable difference in gameplay when purchased can and will make for a lengthy play session if you're not too careful and have nothing better to do at the time!
That should just about do it for the moment! Give these games a shot if you have the time, and remember, if you know of a horsegame that you believe definitely deserves a moment in the spotlight that we may have passed up at some point, please let us know!