My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

 
Gameplay
 
 
 
 
 


 
Game Controls
 
 
 
 
 


 
Graphics/ Sound
 
 
 
 
 


 
Replay value
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4.5/ 5


User Rating
11 total ratings

 


0
Posted May 9, 2013 by

 
Full review
 
 

The aim of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is to rescue Ponyville from the clutches of Nightmare Moon and then successfully put on the Royal Wedding in Canterlot. This is achieved by completing mini games, operating shops, town planning and using your rewards to invite new ponies to your town.

Ponies level up their skills by playing mini games and completing quests. You can then purchase more shops that generate more revenue, which in turn, requires higher skilled ponies to work in them. And so on and so forth.

Like any city building game there is a lot of grinding, but the mini games take a long time before they get tedious and Gameloft continues to innovate by releasing new mini games and extending the over arching narrative. The mini games are fun, last for no more than 20 seconds and will have you collecting apples, playing ball with your Ponies, connecting stars and flying through the clouds.

 

 

Personality

Whether it’s the stunning character animations or the character voices used from the hit TV show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a stunning game. The illustration, sound design and animation style brings the TV show to life.

At any point you can zoom in and watch the ponies go about their daily routines; chatting with friends or playing and frolicking in the sun. Clicking on each pony will even play out a cute little animation specific to that pony, and if you’re lucky, they might even say something to you.

 

Picking apples has never been this much fun

 

Currency

There a growing trend in free-to-play games which i’m beginning to refer to as the “currency confusion theory: multiple currency types, interconnected by elusive conversion rates”. Gameloft have produced a currency system that is, at first, very confusing and quite overwhelming. In order to progress through the game you will need to collect Bits, Gems, Hearts, Starts and Magical Elements. In order to complete the game you will need to purchase Gems or you will be playing the game for the next 100* years if you wish to complete the game organically.

Once you get over this currency confusion, earning and collecting is fun! The sound effects and animations are rewarding, and before you know it, you’ll be inviting your close friends into the game so you can share Hearts and Treasure chests with them.

 

After being locked away in the moon for centuries, Nightmare Moon is set free and spreading night across Ponyville! Only Twilight Sparkle and her friends can free Ponyville from her grasp and bring light and friendship back to the land. Help them rebuild the town and reach their dreams in exciting quests!

 

Pain Points

But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops in the land of Ponyville. While the game is cute as a button on the outside underneath there is a finely calculated money making machine, designed to get you spending your real-world dollars on virtual items. Of course, this is what you would expect from a brilliantly executed free game (they’ve got to make money some how!) but they’ve structured the game in such a way that to finish the game you have to spend real money… and lots of it. The three things that have ruined this game are:

Gems – truly, truly, truly outrageous

In order to complete quests, which are essential to the main story, you need to purchase specific ponies, items and shops. Some of these items can only be purchased with Gems – a lot of Gems. The problem is that Gems take an inordinate amount of time to collect naturally (maybe 1 or 2 Gems a day) and with some items costing up to 800 Gems (and there are a lot of them) that would take approximately year to collect! If you wanted purchase the Gems using your own hard-earned dollars, that would cost around $60 and that’s just for one rare Pony. You could easily spend $1000 just on Gems!

Magic and Element Shards

Spoiler alert! Located throughout Ponyville are 5 magical outposts that will require you to collect hundreds of element shards in order to them. It appears as though the outposts are weighted per player so that one type is particularly difficult to collect. For me, collecting Magic Shards was like drawing blood from a stone yet for you, it could be Shards of Harmony. These shards are extremely hard to come by, though with a lot of patience and persistence, you should get there – that is unless of course your map get overrun with Parasprites…

Parasprites

These cute little flying bugs start out as a minor nuisance but can quickly become a catastrophe that could ruin your game (like it did mine). Parasprites will randomly appear in blank spaces on your map and the only way to get rid of them is to use Element Shards that you have collected. This okay if you have an abundance of them but when you’re desperately trying to collect a specific type and your map is covered in Parasprites, you will either pull out your hair or stop playing all together.

Quick tip: Parasprites will occupy blank 2×2 spaces so fill them up with trees, paths or any other object so that the cannot appear. If they do appear, kill them off quickly or they’ll multiply.

 
Race through the sky like Rainbow Dash for points and prizes

 

Fun for the whole family

The cute animation, the fun mini games and the slow drip feed of new ponies, shops and quests  that will keep you coming back to the game. Although the game can feel out of balance at times, the simple and repetitive mini games will reward you as you perfect the controls.

My wife, my daughter and I have all been playing it across our iPhone and iPads for the past 9 months now; sharing our level updates and pony acquisition status’, gifting each other treasure chests and helping each other our with gameplay tips. Its true: the family that ponies together, stays together.

Join me in Ponyville, Gameloft username: kaintietzel (and i’ll heart you some treasure chests)

Available on the App Store


Kain Tietzel

 
Kain's quest in life is to find a mobile game experience that is as captivating as a console game. He also knows how to party.