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Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to train a horse? Has going to riding school ever interested you? If you answered yes to either of those questions then the video game developer Ubisoft has you covered. Horsez on the Nintendo DS lets you purchase a foal (at an amazingly reduced rate), raise and train it. There is also an interesting mode where you play as a blonde young woman who is training to be a championship horse rider. Horsez is another game in the Petz line up that is most assuredly targeted towards the female side of the family. Sure there are some males who will have a lot of fun playing this game (the ones that take the time to try the game). Kudos to Ubisoft for releasing this virtual digital pet game.

The graphics in Horsez is pretty bright and colorful in almost all areas of the game. The attention to detail in the academy is very noticeable. The models of the horses looks good, and the usage of the touch screen is top notch. The graphics while riding around could have used some improvements though. The selection of different colored garments, horse blankets, etc. is a decent color selection. I would have liked to have seen more in the color scheme personally though. The young woman that we get to play in the game for the academy needs to cover up some more. I did not see a belly button, but her poor choice of clothes does reveal the mid section of her body. Her other clothes are also a little too tight in specific areas. Thankfully the details are not good enough to reveal anything. Unfortunately Ubisoft did not include a selection of clothes to wear that a mature person would choose.

The sounds in this game are very crisp and clear to me. I liked the sounds in Horsez, and felt that it worked really well. The music is nice, and went along good with the theme of the game. The academy mode has some problems in this regard though. What some of the characters has to say is definitely not for the younger members of the family. The young men in this game are obviously hitting on your character, and the player has no choice to let them know their very forward advances are not welcome. In fact the text from the young woman being played is pretty supportive of most of their advances. The lack of choice in telling them NO was something that bothered me. It would have bothered me before I became married as well.

There are quite a few horses that can be trained in this game, but mainly they are different colors. Once the rather difficult academy mode is completed there will be little to no reason to replay Horsez. The education on horse riding is very cool. There is a lot of fun little mini games that makes it worth your hard earned dollars in my humble opinion. Just be sure you realize what you are getting - a horse training/riding simulator.

The controls included in Horsez works really well. The touch screen interaction works beautifully. Petting a horse in real life is more pleasant, but Ubisoft did a decent job of duplicating it in this game. I had a lot of fun playing Horsez, aside from the previously mentioned issues.

Ubisoft really fleshed out Horsez in a way that no other Petz game was done. Some of it worked brilliantly, and others floundered a little. Learning how to properly care for, and love a horse is a wonderful lesson included in Horsez. I would love to see a sequel to this game, especially if they took out some of the racy elements in the academy. Before you think the entire academy experience was all bad, the character does get to help another young woman write a love letter to her boyfriend. Along the way, the player helps out other NPC characters.
- Yolanda


Graphics: 83%
Sound: 87%
Replay/Extras: 87%
Gameplay: 96%
Family Friendly Factor: 82%
System: Nintendo DS
Publisher: Ubisoft
ESRB Rating: 'E' for Everyone

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