Developer: Tivola Publishing GmbH
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Believe it or not, I’m no stranger to iOS games featuring horse care. I’m not exactly up to Breyer collecting levels just yet, but I can appreciate a good horse riding/caring sim. Horseworld 3D: My Riding Horse doesn’t quite make it under my umbrella of general appreciation.

Horses, stables, barns, mucking stalls, etc. It’s all here and represented in a passable fashion for the most part. Players begin their Horseworld 3D “adventure” by getting to know their equine by cleaning it thoroughly. A number of horse care processes are represented in virtual form; including digging crud out of hooves, changing out the hay in the stall, and washing the horse’s eyes and mouth. Going through every little step one-by-one is a process to be sure, but it can also be strangely satisfying and is also necessary in order to gain levels and energize the horse for future activities. Activities that are limited to basic riding lessons unless players want to shell out some real money to unlock riding in the countryside and the jumping course.

As I’ve mentioned already, caring for a horse by performing so many different tasks is oddly satisfying. I suppose one’s enjoyment depends on their level of interest in simulation elements, but I found the actual cleaning to be my favorite part of Horseworld 3D. As someone who knows someone who used to ride and is rather familiar with all the steps involved in looking after such an animal, I couldn’t help but find it interesting, really. It’s a shame that the rest of it isn’t anywhere near as entertaining.

The riding lessons suffer from being rather dull and getting held back by player account levels. Having to ever so slowly trot through a series of gates while lightly tilting the device to steer is bad enough, but having to do it multiple times (in conjunction with basic horse care) to level up enough to unlock the next uninteresting course is even worse. I’d like to say that there are other more interesting horse riding elements to make up for this problem but they’re both locked behind in-app purchases. In other words, there’s not a whole lot of fun to be had here.

I’d have expected to be more interested in the faster-paced riding elements found in Horseworld 3D, but in all honesty it’s the methodical horse maintenance that holds the most entertainment value. Anyone who enjoys the idea of taking care of a virtual horse might just enjoy themselves but they shouldn’t expect all that much “fun” in a textbook sense.

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