(3DS eShop)

Life with Horses 3D (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Life with Horses 3D Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Say neigh

Horses are magnificent creatures. Whether humble labourers or prize-winning performers, each is a complex creature that can be both challenging and rewarding to care for and understand. Life with Horses 3D manages to portray the aspect of hard work in raising horses, but puts the whole “rewarding” part out to pasture.

Players in the main Story Mode of Life with Horses 3D inherit a run-down family ranch and must return it to the horse haven of its former glory. To do so, the ranch's rating needs to be increased by performing certain tasks, many of which require credits earned by doing horse-related jobs or winning race events.

You start off with one horse whose name, colour and coat you can choose. More will be brought onto the ranch later, mainly purchased through an online market and having names like “Pinky,” “Fizzy,” and “Ice Baby.” The horse models are nice, but somewhat stiff; they don't seem to exhibit much personality aside from occasionally moving their heads or hoofing at the ground.

Horses come with needs, of course. Some of them simply involve buying enough feed or ensuring they receive medicine when needed. Others, such as grooming, are more involved yet quickly mundane affairs. Swipe the stylus across each of a horse's four hooves to brush them, but make sure to pick carefully at the clods of dirt! Swipe the stylus across a horse's coat to brush them clean, but don't rub sensitive spots! Or just aim a hose with tilt controls to spray a horse down! All of these duties have an option to pay Play Coins to skip doing them yourself, and you will. Oh, you will.

Credit-earning jobs are often just as dull as grooming, but with the detriment that there's no way around doing them if you want to progress through the game. It tries to take advantage of touch and tilt controls to mix things up a bit, but the tasks themselves are so banal that it doesn't work. Training foals, for example, consists of pressing arrows to make a foal walk around a circle and stop on checkpoints. Massaging involves rotating a brush by jerking the 3DS back and forth like you're driving the express bus to Crazytown. There is no sense of strategy or choice to these tasks, nor do the horses show many reactions to them; they feel like little more than time-wasting chores.

Racing is perhaps the most entertaining part of Life with Horses 3D. Horses who are taken care of well enough to trust the player can be saddled and then ridden over nine courses in three different areas. These tracks are opened gradually through the course of the Story Mode as you win races, build a horse's skills, and buy land, but are all unlocked for play right from the beginning in Instant Mode.

Although each course offers some nice scenery, they all consist of the same kinds of obstacles. Instead of competing against other riders, you try to beat a target time without accruing too many faults. Tapping the A button brings the horse to a gallop, but its stamina needs to be managed. A prompt to press the L and R buttons together will appear on the screen before every jumping obstacle, with successful hits engaging a somewhat awkwardly animated slow-motion jump. Tilt mechanics are employed in this part of the game as well, with the 3DS needing to be leaned in some corners to navigate them better, and they feel more intuitive than they do when massaging a horse. Ultimately, however, the “races” aren't very challenging and can be finished without placing much thought into them.

As the ranch slowly grows, it's odd how little it seems to gain any life or spirit. Your character is almost entirely the only one you see. The buildings do become renovated, but aren't very interactive with the exception of the stables. Some customization is provided with different items that can be bought for the horses and complex, but everything seems far from possessing the kind of personal element that can be found in something like the Harvest Moon series. Add to this a clunky user interface, sometimes difficult overworld navigation, and a soft but repetitive soundtrack and there just isn't much that blooms here.

Conclusion

It seems like those who would be most willing to keep up with the dragging tasks of Life with Horses 3D are the big-time equine fans. However, these same fans would also be most disappointed in how lifeless the world can be and how impersonal treatment of and interaction with the horses can feel. It is possible that one can progress enough through the game to open up enough ways to be satisfied, but the cost in time and repetition to do so just feels too high. There has to be a better way to engage in horseplay.

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User Comments (38)

Swiket

#3

Swiket said:

The Miiverse community for this game is great. It's just the same three people talking about this game with hundreds of Yeahs on each one.

cfgk24

#5

cfgk24 said:

@Swiket Hay! Swikit! Did you look at the Miiverse community for this? Those 3 people must be shouting themselves Hoarse! How did they Download it? The Eshop is not Stable. Can't -er software developers stop horsing around putting dung shovel-ware on the Eshop? Neigh? oh well - worth asking

cfgk24

#10

cfgk24 said:

@TimLatshaw My friend use to Nag me to listen to it The Mane thing is that no one tries to Stirrup any trouble on this forum. . .

OptometristLime

#11

OptometristLime said:

With such ranch-y gameplay to deal with, it's not the reviewers foalt if the developers chose to leave fans out in the colt.

cfgk24

#12

cfgk24 said:

I wonder if the Devs will be asked 'why the long face?' when they read this review. I just got married - and my bridle get cross when she realises she's been saddled with an idiot like me after she asked me to put a halter these horse puns.

denpa-ben

#14

denpa-ben said:

Did anyone else notice that one of the horses on the right side of the top picture is actually a dalmatian?

Sparx

#15

Sparx said:

All I can think about when it comes to this game is Whiteheart XP

Barbiegurl777

#18

Barbiegurl777 said:

To be honest I was sceptitic to download this game but I do enjoy horse games on the 3ds my favorite by far is:

Let's Ride: Best in Breed - 3DS

After seeing screenshots in miiverse I'm defently going to download Life with Horse's - 3DS as soon as I get the chance the graphic's look beatiful. :D

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

MAB

#19

MAB said:

@Barbiegurl777 It's good to see people excited about wanting and playing games instead of whining and making lame jokes about them ;)

Barbiegurl777

#20

Barbiegurl777 said:

@MAB

I agree. :) This horse game should be really good. :)

Treva-Entertainment has put out some really great games so far on the 3ds e-shop this one look's like a newer game they just came out with & not re-releasing an older game. :)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

baba_944

#26

baba_944 said:

My favorite one is not a photo, but a comment that "Jehuty" posted stating that he named his horse "Sarah" after his favorite actor.

Windy

#27

Windy said:

You know whats a great idea. Take the Grand Theft Auto Engine and Implement it in a non Violent game such as Horses or something else for that matter. They could do some very neat things with that Engine. But they don't....just Violent game after Violent game with it

Barbiegurl777

#36

Barbiegurl777 said:

@Mattiator & @Everyone_Else

I don't see why you find it so funny that people would like horse 3ds games. To be honest until I got my 3ds a few years ago I never even tried horse games Let's Ride Best in Breed - 3ds was my first horse game on any game system/handheld & the other reason I even bothered to try the horse games is because when I was younger my cousin who's four years younger than me use to be really into playing with toy horses when we younger if it was for those reasons at all I'd probably just have stuck to the cat/dog video games & never bothered with the horse games. :)

Although I'm glad I tried the horse games on the 3ds there very cute & fun. Let's ride best in breed 3ds has the best graphics for a horse game I've ever seen also very realistic. :)

Don't knock something until you've actually tried it. ;)

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

Mattiator

#37

Mattiator said:

@Barbiegurl777 Actually, I was not referring at all to the game, which I have not played and have no interest in playing. I was simply referring to the fact that the Miiverse community for LWH3D is filled to the brim with silly/mildly disturbing art, hence a "community for trolls".

MAB

#38

MAB said:

A community of trolls is the most advanced form of community ;)

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