Take the Reins in Planet Horse
Planet Horse is a combination of a pet simulation and a horse-riding sports game that appeals to a very wide range of user with its well made graphics and easy-to use gameplay system. While the game will certainly provide very few obstacles for seasoned video game veterans, those who are more accustomed to casual titles will still have a few hurdles to overcome along the way.
So before you and your steed start trotting off to the next big show jump, it is always important to remember a few simple things that will help you stay on top of the rankings and earn as much credits and stats after every event. This little tips and tricks guide will help you plan ahead on choosing your horse, learning the controls and taking on the different events of the game.
The Game Layout
Much like most games, Planet Horse's gameplay opens up with a quick tutorial on the mouse controls for your steed. Of course, this is done after you name your character and decide on the first horse to use. At this point, there is no game-deciding factor that needs to be taken and first time players should simply focus on enjoying game.
There are three different tutorials - one for each of the events, riding, show jumps and cross country tours. Each event will become available one after another and will give players a quick understanding of the rules that apply to each event. By the time players are through these opening acts, they would have a very distinct idea of how the game is played.
Along with opening up various events, progressing through the horse jumping game will also open up the trophy room (which takes note of your achievements in each stage) and the item shop. The item shop is where you can buy new clothes, riding gear and later on, new horses. Certain new horse types will have higher stats that the initial breeds available and is the only shop item that affects gameplay -the clothes and riding gear will not improve your riding skills or controls. During ride events, players have the option of collecting special tokens that will increase the items available in the shop inventory.
Every time a horse completes three events, it will get dirty. Players then have the option of brushing their ride's coat back to a sparkling finish, or to go all out and give a bath of soap and water to really get rid of all the grime accumulated from the races. There is no specific advantage to either one and for players who simply want to save time, the brushing sequence is always much faster. Either way, the horse will be clean for another three events before it needs another cleaning. While the brushing sequence is definitely faster, there is something fun about coating a horse in soapy bubbles before hosing them with water.
The horse jumping game has no definite ending, but can be considered finished once a player is able to complete all the events available. Players can check the trophy room to see how many they have yet to accomplish. Completionists will certainly try to aim for a gold rank in each event -and since the game allows players to return to any event, improving your rank once you have a better horse is always a good idea.
Mastering the Controls
There is only one thing players need to have when playing this game -proper mouse control. The game's horse riding sequences are determined by where you position your cursor and when you click the mouse button. Aside from that, there are no keyboard controls or other things to mind.
The basics of horse controls are as simple as this: clicking on the field will tell your horse to move in a straight line to that specific spot. If you click on a faraway location, the horse will start to gallop its way to the destination. A spot close to the horse will get the steed to slowly amble its way to the target. In short, the distance of your cursor to the horse determines the speed of its movement.
Steering your horse in a specific location is also a matter of positioning your cursor. Clicking to either side of the horse causes it to turn left or right and clicking behind it will make it turn all the way around. This will not only be a turn, after the horse faces the appropriate direction, it will also move towards the spot you clicked. If you simply want your horse to turn, be sure to choose a position as close it as possible.
During the first ride event tutorial, players will be able try out this type of control. Also, the great thing about the one click method is that it uses less stamina than holding down the mouse button, making it useful for the endurance based ride events.
As mentioned, there is a second form of horse control, and this is done by holding down the mouse button. In this mode, the above rules regarding cursor position applies. But this time, the horse will constantly move and change directions depending on where the cursor is at that specific moment; dragging your cursor from the center of the screen towards the left will cause your horse to gallop forward and slowly curve to the left.
This mode is perfect for races and show jumps where the time requirement will force players to keep their horses on the move. Just remember that the farther away you move your cursor from the horse, the faster it will run and harder it is to control. When navigating tight corners - especially in the show jumps, be sure to slow down by moving your mouse closer to the horse.
Speaking of show jumps, taking on the jumping obstacles is the third control system of the game: timing the button presses. Now, the proper tactic here would be to watch the hooves of the horse as it approaches each of the green icons on the floor. Time your mouse press just as the hoof hits the icon (it will flash blue briefly), accomplish this three times and your horse will successfully make the jump. There are times when the spacing of icons come in an irregular pattern so watch the visual cues on when to press the button.
Our strategy is a lot easier: simply spam the mouse button (just keep pressing the mouse button for the duration of the timing sequence). This will ensure that the horse hits all the icons properly and you will successfully make the jump. Since Planet Horse will not penalize players for wrong presses (you only get a "miss" mark if you did nothing at all), it is always a better idea to spam the mouse button.
Lastly, the game allows you to use either left or right mouse buttons. Both have the same use in Planet Horse making this title easy to adapt to for left-handed users.
Choosing Your Horse
When choosing a horse breed, name and physical markings, do not worry about the statistics, these three factors will not affect how your horse will perform in-game. While some die-hard horse fanatics may be averse to this concept (some breeds are specialty horses after all, and many would expect that a magical horse like the unicorn would be blessed with unique abilities), the idea that all the breeds are equal provides players with the freedom to choose any horse that fits their aesthetic needs without affecting the gameplay experience at all.
So what does affect a horse's statistics? -The horse type. There are four types of horses, one well rounded, and three that are specialists in one of the three other stats. Strong horses have plenty of endurance, jumpers make timing jumps easier and fast horses can gallop pretty fast. The well rounded ones tend to have stamina highest with the jumping and speed stats being equally close. The differences between the types will only matter in the late game, and only after the stats have been maxed out. When you start out the game, simply choose any of the four according to your tastes.
Choosing your horse type matters when you finally open higher ranking horses in the shop; sure, this means that you will move on to a new horse, but you can still use your old steed at any time. It is a good strategy to stick with the first horse you earn, and keep saving the credits until you open the third rank (which is the highest) of horses. Afterwards, buy a horse that is best suited to your playing style and stick with it until the end of the game. The second rank horses are also better than your initial ride, but it is still better to conserve your resources - also, by the time you unlock the second rank tier, your horse stats will have improved enough to be better.
As hinted above, there are three basic stats: stamina, jumping and speed. Increasing a stat will require players to participate in a particular event. Ride events will raise stamina, show jumps raise jumping skills and the cross country tours will increase your horse's speed. Each stat is symbolized by a row of hollow flowers. This marks the potential capabilities of your horse. Your actual horse stats are the amount of "filled up" flowers in the row, once all the hollow flowers have been filled up, there is no way to further increase that specific stat.
One thing to note in this horse jumping game when raising stats is to check the event description. If you see one green star, it usually means that the event is of a moderate challenge and will only increase a stat for a marginal amount. Three stars means that it will be more of a challenge and you will increase the stat by a lot more. Once you have chosen an event, all you need to do is to participate. Whether you win or lose event, the game will still increase your stat -allowing you to keep trying an event until you beat it (which you definitely will, since after several tries, the stat directly related to that specific event will have increased since your first try). Even after beating an event, you can still choose to go back to it in order to farm stats and credits.
There is no specific rule on prioritizing a specific stat, considering the fact that you will need to participate in all the events means that you would need all. Though as a general rule of thumb, the jumping ability is least useful considering the fact that you can spam the timing of the buttons (as we previously mentioned). Fast horses will help you get through the later races (as some of the competitors have really difficult times to beat); while good endurance helps you explore more locations in the ride sequence (which in turn, unlocks more items for the store). Going with either speed or stamina is always a good idea.
Winning the Events
When participating in a Show Jump event, there are two things a player should always consider, the first is controlling the horse -which in turn, dictates whether you're your ride will actually attempt the jump or not. The second is timing, which is easily done if you follow the spamming tip -simply keep tapping the mouse button when doing the timing sequence.
Show Jumps have a set track, which can be seen as a slightly lighter shade of dirt as compared to the rest of the field. Keep the horse galloping along the track to make sure that you get to go through all the required jumps (missing a jump will net you 10 negative points -which will send you down the ranking board instantly). Also, Show Jumps have a tendency of positioning a jump just right after a curve, so be sure that you keep your horse in the center of the track to have it lined up perfectly for a jump. Follow these two tips and any Show Jump will be yours for the taking.
Cross Country tours have plenty of sights to see and challenges to overcome. Indeed, of all the events in Planet Horse, it is the cross country tours that would require the greatest amount of skill and patience to master. Cross Country events are held in the same locations as the Ride events, except that there are now large arrows and signs that will help direct you towards the proper route to take. Also, the collectible items are not present, so all the focus here is on being able to make it to the finish line first.
Aside from getting to the goal in time, the course has been modified to include jumps (which can be accomplished quite easily). The jumps are a lot further apart here than in Show Jump events so lining up is a lot easier -players simply have to mind the positioning of their cursor once the horse lands to ensure they get back up to speed with a fast gallop once the jumping sequence is over.
The only thing we can suggest here is to stick near the inner lanes of any turn -as with any race, sticking to the inner lane of a turn always provides the fastest route. Just be sure to keep your horse from bumping the wall as doing so would cause you to stop. Also, players might want to experiment around the course during the ride event in order to see which areas can be crossed over in order to cut some corners during turns. If you still cannot win the race no matter, keep trying. The horse will gain speed as you progress, making each attempt a lot easier to do.
Last on our list are the Ride Events. Given the nature of this event, there is very little strategy to apply -the key factor is to plan ahead, use small movements when needed and if you can, take note of any collectible items you come across or skip. This will help you keep track of which courses to come back when you want to collect the hidden items. Naturally, horses with low stamina will not have enough energy to earn the gold rank (and in some difficult courses, even silver) but that should not discourage you. As the horse increases stamina, you will be able to run further and explore faster -allowing you to collect more of the required items for the stage. In some ride events, you will find a carrot power up - this will refill one bar of your stamina meter and allow you to go move forward a little further.
To get the gold, focus on the required items. The best way to do this is to follow the path with the items. There are a few instances where a little backtracking is required, but more often than not, they will be set down like a trail of breadcrumbs to follow. Every now and then, you will find a totem or horseshoe just off the edge of the screen -our advice: ignore it. Going for the collectible means having to spend stamina going off course and getting back; instead take a quick note of where the specific area of the item and come back for it some other time. Since you can return to any stage at any time, you can choose to go look for the collectible item later on. This strategy also applies to searching for special locations as well.
Past the Goal Posts
Completing Planet Horse's horse jumping game events in gold ranking, getting all the horseshoes and totems, and buying all the items in the store is a simple matter of knowing what to focus on first. Much of the game's progress will be reliant not only on how well you can play, but also what your horse's current stats are. Having good patience to increase a horse's stats certainly matters, but the game makes it easy by providing you with a fun time taking your horse for a quick race or a leisurely ride. Overall, the best thing that completionists should remember is to have fun. When you cannot find all the secret locations, simply enjoy the fact that you are exploring the fields -you will stumble upon it one way or the other. Planet Horse game has been specifically designed to be easy to play and win. All the rewards can be earned in due time, all you need to do in the meanwhile is to enjoy the ride.