Gameloft My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Game Review and Image-post
Platform - iOS/Android
Price – ‘Freemium’
Rating – 4/5
The self-titled My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic game is a free city-builder based upon the Friendship is Magic universe. It’s created by a studio called Gameloft (essentially it’s Ubisoft’s mobile developers) who have also done notable mobile games such as Asphalt 5, Brothers in Arms, Modern Combat and N.O.V.A.
Story: The plot (ha-ha, sexual references!) revolves around Nightmare Moon threatening Equestria with eternal darkness. It’s your job to find the Elements of Harmony and put a stop to her. Before you can do that however, you must seek the assistance from the residents of Ponyville and expand it’s borders, overcoming the night and gaining bits (the in-game currency). Don’t expect this to be a game with a deep storyline, because it’s not.
Gameplay: In order to progress within the game you must earn bits, elemental shards and crystal hearts to expand, build and conquer. You do this by creating shops, playing minigames and completing challenges.
The building aspect is the core of the game. There are many different buildings to choose from and they all produce certain items or house certain ponies. Shops, farms and retail can be attended by ponies to earn bits.
Minigames are used to level up ponies and earn bits and shards. Currently there are only 3 minigames - Apple picking, Flying and Bouncy Ball. All are pretty simple, but fun (ha! Another sexual reference!). They do however become tedious after time, as you have to replay them again and again to level up. I equate this to grinding in an MMO. More variety would probably help here.
Graphics: The models in this game are in a word, fantastic. Gameloft has clearly tried very hard to get as show-accurate as possible here and you can tell! The 3D pony characters are spot on and remind me of the fandom-created G-Mod ponies (I’d even go to say these are better looking). The buildings have also received this attention to detail and look like they’re pulled directly from the show. All in-game animations are very fluid and work well. This is exactly what FiM would look like if it were made in Maya and not Flash.
Music: There’s not too much to say here. The music is instrumental versions of the show’s songs and serve as background music. Songs include Smile Smile Smile, Winter Wrap Up and Find a Pet. They don’t add much to the experience, but are nice to hear.
Social Interaction: In order to spread the game like the plague (or should I say Pony Pox?), Gameloft encourages friends to play with you and visit their towns through the Gameloft Live service. It also encourages you to connect to Facebook to find friends as well. This bares similarity to popular social games like Farmville.
(( My Gameloft Live account is Scramjet by the way, if anyone wants to add me! ))
Who Does it Cater To?: While the initial target audience for Friendship is Magic (the show, not the game) is for young girls, I have my doubts that this game is aimed at them. As a ‘freemium’ game, you can purchase in-game items to progress the game faster. These are such things like bits, shards and experience. While you can get everything without paying for it, buying items is significantly faster. This raises some concerns, as young children will most likely be using their parent’s mobile devices and subsequently using their parent’s credit cards to make purchases. My advice here would be to make sure your child doesn’t know your iTunes/Google Play password and therefore cannot purchase anything without your permission.
The game does not provide the ‘instant action’ that games like Angry Birds would. This may drive younger audiences away from the game, as their short attention span may make them become bored pretty quickly.
So who is it for then? The answer would be bronies. There are many, many shout outs to the fandom within this game. Things from our favourite wall-eyed mare appearing, fandom-named ponies such as Octavia, DJ PON-3 and Bon Bon, as well as the actual FiM voice-actors voicing the characters. The game has almost every major main and background character of note, from Pinkie Pie to that pony that appeared once in The Cutie Pox. This is arguably one of the game’s biggest strengths and will find many bronies squealing in delight.
Minor Annoyances: The main gripe I have with this game being a ‘freemium’ title is that unless you pay, progressing takes a very long time. While not as pushy with in-app purchases unlike some other mobile games you still notice it. This title would probably been better off as a paid game, rather than ‘freemium’ since most bronies can afford it.
For a pick up and play game, the initial loading time is somewhat long. It took around 27 seconds to load on my iPod Touch 4G. For a game that ideally would be played while waiting for a bus or in a queue line the wait time seems a bit excessive. At least the loading screen is cute!
In order to make money, you have to be constantly playing the game. You cannot set up a few shops and leave it running, due to the way you collect money. To some people this may mean they don’t progress much at all. The game does allow for push notifications to tell you when a pony is ready to do an action or when you’ve gained items, so the developers have obviously thought about this.
Should you get it?: Absolutely! With a $0 starting price you don’t have much to lose. If you don’t like it, delete it off your device, if you do you can keep playing and maybe make an in-app purchase or two. Overall Gameloft has brilliantly executed what could have been a rubbish game. This game is a right step towards more adult-orientated pony content and refreshing to see. While the game has its flaws, the positive aspects greatly outweigh any negatives.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is currently available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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- duskwisp said: I’m mix on getting this mainly of Blunty’s review: youtube.com/watch?v…
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- stevebat said: These pics look great! although when viewed on your tumblr they look a little misstretched… Otherwise great review!
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