Game Review: ‘The Equestrian’
Samantha Reppert takes us on a tour of The Equestrian, a PC game that lets horse-lovers virtually compete in their favorite sport.
Today I am going to review the PC game The Equestrian.
The game starts out with a cool little preview as it loads. From the Menu screen you can choose from Career, Free Round, Profile Management, Options or Quit.
To get started, click Profile Management and near the bottom of the screen you’ll find “Create a New Profile,” from which you can choose your rider’s gender, nationality and name. After you’re back to the main screen, click “Career” and choose from Show Jumping, Dressage, and–I recommend starting with this one–Three-Day Eventing.
Your personal trainer pops up and tells you about the training you have to have before competing. You start out by learning to steer the horse, then move on to changing the horse’s speed, jumping the horse, changing the horse’s speed to the jump, and balancing the rider. Last but not least you ride your course.
After you complete your show jumping, it’s on to cross country.
Then you work on dressage. I find the dressage portion to be the most boring and frustrating but once you learn all the maneuvers, which include shoulder-in, counter-canter, extended canter, extended trot, pirouette, piaffe and passage, you can ride your first dressage test.
Now that you have had your training you pick the horse that you will compete on and start practicing for a competition. You have 13 virtual days between competitions and three choices of how you spend each day. You can “rest” (which means you don’t ride your horse and can quickly click through the days until the competition), ride or simulate your exercises.
Throughout the game you continue to unlock tack, clothing, saddles, etc. Unlike some other games you don’t have to brush, feed and clean your horse’s stall, which can be annoying sometimes.
The graphics aren’t the best but they’re doable. The horse’s conformation and gaits are pretty unrealistic looking, as is the horse’s jumping when the obstacles get bigger, like oxers and triple bars in show jumping or cross-country jumps. Speaking of which, the cross country course is somewhat boring. All the jumps look similar and there are no combinations. The only thing that changes is the scenery and the layout of the course. I find the show jumping to be the most realistic out of all three phases, although some of the courses are just a big loop.
Controlling the horse isn’t too hard. It takes some getting used to but you get the hang of it in no time. When you jump you have to focus on steering the horse to the jump, the horse’s speed to the jump, and the rider’s balance for take-off and landing–which I find can be a little overwhelming.
I have played some pretty weird horse games but I think this one definitely deserves a good rating. Overall I thought the game was fun, even though it does tend to get a little stale and I would have changed some things. (I probably say that about most horse games. Sigh.).
This game works on Windows 98, XP, Vista and 2000. My Vista computer ended up dying and when I installed this game onto my new Windows 8 the game worked fine but you only had one color option for the horse.
I give this game 3 1/2 out of 5 blue ribbons!!
The video below shows a clips of the game:
Samantha Reppert is a freshman in high school and lives with her family in Loudoun County, Virginia, along with their seven horses, two dogs, five cats, and mini donkey. She is in the Middleburg Orange County Pony Club as well as the Dulles Gateway Dog Training Club. She enjoys doing dog agility with her Papillon and dressage and jumping with her 6-year-old Thoroughbred. She also finds pleasure in doing photography and video production.
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