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 horse 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. 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.