The best horse riding games on the net
Two exciting horse games to download...
Exploring the World of Planet Horse
One of the greatest experiences one can have in life is the thrill and excitement of riding a horse in full gallop. Whether you have your own stable and are taking your personal steed for a ride, or you are training as a practice rider around the track, the exhilaration and rush of being in the saddle is one that many young girls always dream of.
Of course, not everyone has a chance to actually get to ride a horse of their own. Fortunately, the fine folks at Dancing Dots have heard our cries and have answered with the release of Planet Horse one of the two main horseback riding games for download. This simple looking game may seem a little rough on the edges, but when it comes to delivering the best in horse-riding simulation, it certainly does not lose out to the competition with its beautiful graphics and simple controls.
Below and on many other pages through our site you can download horse riding games by dancing dots and also read more into each one before deciding which one you would like to play.
Planet Horse is a horse game made for young girls who simply want to enjoy the thrill of taking the horse on various events without the fuss of actually having to deftly tug on the reins every single time. With that said; the single button control system for Planet Horse is both well made and intuitive. Admittedly, we did wish for a bit of camera control during some of the ride events (it would help out a lot when searching for hidden items), but overall, it really is hard to wish for more considering how well-suited the controls are.
Clicking near a horse makes you move slowly, click far tells the horse to go faster. The direction of the area clicked determines the direction that the horse will take - and that is the whole control system in a nutshell. It certainly is easy to learn, but there is still a bit of a learning curve when it comes to controlling the horse in full gallop. Occasionally, this horseback riding game also throws in a few timing based clicking for the jump events. Overall, the controls are nothing too difficult to learn, and something that becomes pretty much second nature well within the first fifteen minutes of the game.
Planet Horse is divided up into several parts which include three horse-riding events, a grooming section and the store. There is also a screen for checking your achievements and progress with the races as well as managing your clothes and riding gear. This makes it a great all around horse caring game.
The three horse-riding events are where you will be spending the most time, either by taking on Cross Country Tours, Rides or Show Jump events. In each event, your horse will earn an increase in stats which will in turn, improve the performance. Players can repeat any event so earning the gold rank for each event is simply a matter of coming back with a better horse.
Participating and winning in events not only nets you a stat increase for your steed, but also credits for buying new clothes, riding accessories and most importantly, better horses. The game does not allocate stats according to breed - the breed only determines how and what coat patterns and colors are available. The stats are attributed to one of the four basic horse types; well rounded, strong, fast and jumpers. While the game shows you the maximum possible stats for each horse they all start out roughly the same, with certain types having higher max limits for their specialty (naturally, a fast horse would have the highest maximum speed while the strong horse would be able to earn more stamina than others).
The big plus of Planet Horse aside from its well made gameplay is how great it looks, it is a very cool horse game. The horse riding game delivers a pretty decent set of tracks and courses for players and the ride events provide a large, singular, multi-track area for players to explore at their leisure.
Looking at the nicely made scenery will hardly be on top of your priority list as you will be paying most of the attention to your horse. From the start of the game, players get to fawn over the various breeds and determine how the coat patterns will look. In the actual events the smooth animations of the horse as it trots and gallops across the field will make you want to ride longer and farther with your steed. Of course, the most breathtaking sight is during the jump events where the action gets down into a slow motion and close up view of your successful jumps.
All in all, Planet Horse delivers a great horse riding game to its target users - which are younger female players. While young boys will still find something enjoyable about the game, its mostly pink colors and very feminine visual style makes it very a gender specific game to play. That said, Planet Horse is a very successful game that is able to showcase horse riding simulation into an easy to play and fun to watch package. We give this game a thoroughbred's 86/100.
You can find a more comprehensive look at Planet Horse Here.
Straight from the Horse's Mouth: Ride! Equestrian Simulation
Very few games ever take on the genre of professional horseback riding - which is actually pretty surprising considering the highly competitive environment of the game and its' high profile standards. Ride! Equestrian Simulation is one of the very few games in the world that takes players for a unique from-the-saddle experience of being part of horseback riding culture and sports. Of course, Ride! is far more than a novelty program - the developers at Dancing Dots have placed plenty of content and challenge into this innocent looking game; making it a definite hit among riding enthusiasts and purists alike.
Combining three of the most competitive horse riding events, Ride! is a solid game that will keep players on the edge and constantly galloping their way to the top of the ranks. With highly challenging courses and intricate controls, this is one game that truly comes close to a professional rider's experience, it's a gem of a horse riding game.
Ride! is a serious equestrian game, and there are no two ways about it. You get into the saddle, get taught complex keyboard controls, taught the basics of the real life sport and are sent off to compete in some of the most challenging environments to be launched since Cookie and Cream (do not let that title fool you, it is an incredibly difficult console game). Despite its tough learning curve and pretty stiff competition, the game manages to deliver on its promise: a true equestrian simulation.
Considering that professional horse riders compete in a vast myriad of competitions, Ride manages to sum them all up in three main events: show jumping, racing and dressage. Now the first clarification here is the racing portion of the game. Unlike the more famous track racing, the true horse-racing sport is done individually (much like qualifying car runs for circuit racing) and the scoring is based on time and penalties accrued. Moving on, the game combines its choice of events with a good deal of realism in rules and performance requirements. The race times to beat are pretty high and the scoring for the dressage is very strict - if you have been competing in real life, this would also be the case.
Of course, this equestrian game is not all about difficulty. In between each major competition, players are given the chance to train, raise stats and even enjoy a bit of dress-up (which is basically about choosing which colors to wear, there are not many options in terms of changing the form of your attire). These are all, as one would expect, laden with the same amount of sensible realism as the rest of the game - which sadly means that even the training sequences can be pretty tough in terms of difficulty. The good thing here is that you can set the computer to run the training sequence for you.
Looks Good Enough
One big sacrifice that the game takes is with its visuals and sounds. Now, this horse riding game actually looks pretty decent - in an early 2000's kind of way. The horse animations, backgrounds and the rider are all nicely rendered, though everything could use a bit more of a polish and possibly some color treatment to take away that plastic-like look that often plagues 3D imagery. And in case you are wondering: the horses look beautiful. While they are pretty hard to tell apart (unless the colors are strikingly contrasting), much of the textures and patterns mimic that of the real thing.
The audio is the department that seriously needs a rehash. Almost everything from the monotonous and limited sound track to the droning, annoying and downright pompous voice of the trainer will make users want to switch off their speakers. The only thing we liked was the pattering sound of hooves as we galloped across the course - which is the only thing we had hoped to be compatible with surround sound technology.
Ride! is not a game for everyone, but it is certainly a game for those who love the culture of high profile horseback racing. If you have no patience for the subtleties of the dressage and see no value in the art of show jumping, then you might be better off taking an actual horse or a quick ride around the fields instead. But if your heart is about all the finer things of horseback riding as a sport, then you cannot afford to pass up Ride! Equestrian Simulation. We give this game a falling rider's 82/100.
You can find a more comprehensive look at Ride Here.
Whichever one of the two games you choose to download and play we hope it brings you closer to getting up on a real horse sometime soon and experiencing the true feeling of riding free where you live! Download horse riding games now and get riding!