My Horse & Me (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 05.12.2007 12

Most traditional gamers will overlook horse-riding simulations as being something purely for young girls to play on daddy's PC. However, W!Games and Atari have just unleashed the first ever FEI-licensed title on Wii. How does the game play, and does it surpass other titles in its genre? Recently we have seen a glut of Nintendo DS horse games, with Eidos's Pony Friends and Ubisoft's Horsez proving extremely successful, but does My Horse & Me deserve similar success on Wii? Let us find out...

Being the first game to ever be branded with the FEI license (the International Equestrian Federation – the acronym is based on its French name, for those wondering) certainly makes My Horse & Me special right out of the gates. It will also have put pressure on relatively new development house W!Games (founded in 2005) to create something extra special. However, clearly the team’s make-up of experienced developers and fresh, young talent has set out to prove a point – that they mean business and are not so easily overwhelmed! And it all starts off so well, as on the presentational front the team has certainly not skimped on the details, with gorgeous locations that rank, you may be surprised to hear, amongst the best of the Third Party Wii titles so far. Lush fields, stacks of intricate detail and horses that are extremely well crafted models that look as realistic as possible all are present and correct in My Horse & Me. All the while, peaceful, lilting melodies play throughout, complete with a considerable amount of speech at every turn. The production values are clearly very high for this equestrian-related gaming product.

Screenshot for My Horse & Me on Wii

The game allows horse fanatics to live out their dream of entering into international competitions against other riders to eventually work their way up the leader-board and become the crème de la crème of the horsing world, then head back home, taking their steed back to the stable for some much needed care and attention. The Championship is the game’s main mode where players start off by learning how to actually ride their horse properly (tilting the Nunchuk to steer left, Wii-mote to steer right, pulling both upwards towards your chest to stop and then proceed to gently walk back, hold A to trot slowly forwards and shake both controllers up and down like real reins to speed up to a canter – everything is very intuitive and shows of the motion controls perfectly). Once done, other tasks such as learning to vault over fences (jumping is automatic, you just need to ensure the horse is positioned correctly and running fast enough), steering around tight corners to avoid crashing into walls and quickly changing the horse’s pace to aid with navigating the various courses, are given to the player all in an effort to help riders become No.1. Eventually, the training will pay off and winning the five international championships on offer, which span various locations around the world, will be closer to becoming a reality.

Screenshot for My Horse & Me on Wii

Elsewhere, gamers will have the freedom to customise not only the horse in question, but the rider as well (with an initial selection of four girls and two boys to choose from). And the more you play, the more you are rewarded, as new character outfits and horse equipment will be made available. Weather effects and new animations are also there to be unlocked by diligent players who work through the main Championship mode, where the surrounding environment and general day-to-day conditions will all have an effect on your horse's performance and behaviour. Maintaining the game's general authenticity, even the jumping championship is extremely faithful to real-life official competitions, meaning that true fans will feel right at home with My Horse & Me. With four outdoor environments and four indoor ones, all of which can be tackled at different times of day, and the choice of playing from a general Third-Person point-of-view or the more realistic First-Person view where you are the rider, all that is really missing is an online element for users to trade items, keep track of leader board progress and compete against others around the world...

Screenshot for My Horse & Me on Wii

But for overall value, there is plenty going on in the game, with even a plentiful supply of mini-games on offer to keep gamers entertained, and thus providing lots of reasons to keep replaying the game. Most may be simple affairs, but they are sufficiently enjoyable enough to be worthy of a bit of dabbling in them every now-and-then, and will certainly appeal to the younger crowd. Examples include a memory style game where players are shown different items and must then trot over and collect them in the same order as shown at the start, whilst another has the horse-rider dashing around a field to bring coloured butterflies to their respective flowers. Not only this, but you can even herd chickens back into their coop, and...wait for it...catch falling stars from the sky! Simply adorable, no doubt you will all agree...! Throw in multiplayer action for up to four riders and this is one solid package for equestrian fans everywhere and will no doubt put the impending Wii version of Horsez to complete shame.

Screenshot for My Horse & Me on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

My Horse & Me is probably the most developed horse-riding package on the market, with a perfect blend of intense championship competition, genteel, relaxed horse caring and fun mini-games being included, along with the option for multi-player entertainment as well. The first game to ever carry to official FEI license has most certainly set the standard for future horse riding titles and shown that fledgling developer W!Games is more than capable of playing with the big boys of the Gaming Industry.

Developer

W!

Publisher

Atari

Genre

Simulation

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (5 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

is it sad that i wish some wii game will try to looks as good as this in graphics lol

Wow. I genuinly can not believe this game is good, let alone one of the best games for Wii's rather average market.

Ah well, I don't think I'll get it anyway :lol: but it's great that someone made an effort!

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

It's the best horse game on Wii by default, purely as there are no others (yet). Horsez on Wii is coming next year and I reckon after the massive success of Pony Friends on DS, Eidos must be considering a home console version.

This Wii game's already been big in the UK after just one week, managing to break into the All Format Top 40! No doubt the DS edition will shoot up as well...surprisingly the PC game didn't chart, though.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Haha, I was really expecting a score of 4.

I used to ride horse. Maybe my sisters will pick this up one day... I wouldn't mind checking it out.

I believe C3 is the first site anywhere to review the Wii version...so just you watch as loads of other sites jump in with 4/10 scores now! :lol: Just to make me look bad, obviously... Smilie

I enjoyed Pony Friends on DS as well when I was sent that, but just didn't have time to review it back then. This is miles better, though - far more comprehensive. My wife really loves it!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

jesusraz are u C3 girl game reviewr now? i think u going all girly on us lol

jesusraz, you make me look sad.
I just hate horse-caring-games. But I didn't get Nintendogs, either.

But can you enjoy this game when you like the games we do here? Just why the hell shoul I get this game? Even if it is FEI, GREAT, LOL and whatnot?

I find your lack of faith disturbing!

It's certainly not aimed at the general gamer, that's for sure. It's squarely for those that love horses and enjoy horse games. I simply reviewed it in as non-biased a way as possible. Like I say, I've played a couple of the handheld horse games before - Horsez was awful and Pony Friends was decent. This beats both.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Woah! I'm sold, I'm getting that for Christmas! Smilie

Looks...interesting. I'm surprised it's turned out well, but it's not for me! I remember seeing the box art randomly at work and just laughing at it...

yeah that box art is bad lol make me think of ruch little girls lol

great graphics...but the boxart is terrible..

..Simple and Clean..

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