Are you going to the holidaysuuuh?
“I haven’t changed my address!” Oops, sorry, we’re lost… We’ll start by choosing his name and the appearance of his female avatar only, then his horse. For a young audience, the title offers many options compared to other games aimed at children. The customization editor is quite simple but very complete and above all very accessible in its understanding for small hands. Especially since other options will be unlocked in the adventure.
Exactly, let’s talk about this adventure. It takes the form of a daily life simulation. We won’t wake up, eat or anything like Animal Crossing and Story of Season. Instead we were offered to spend time with his friends through various equestrian activities over the days. As we said, our avatar is looking for his summer friends. This is how the adventure begins.
From this reunion comes a tutorial that explains to children how to play and find their way through space. Learn to get on and off a horse as well as move on its back or on foot. You definitely need a minimum reading level but what is very important is the full dubbing and in French! It still allows children who can’t read yet to understand the explanations. We really insist on this accessibility when we make a game for kids and Horse Club 2 ticks this box.
A calm and zen game
Basically, we move in third person view in a semi-open world. It is possible to go almost anywhere on foot or on horseback. The controls are very simple with one button to go up or down from his mount. We are still able to do small walking jumps although it is not very useful. On the other hand, once mounted, the horse can jump obstacles.
This is the definitive point of this life simulation. If we can generally move freely, there is still a main frame with compulsory and secondary quests. We have the leisure to perform them when we want it. But once launched, its missions take the form of visits to points of interest and especially all kinds of races.
With our girlfriends we would visit places or go camping but also speed races or obstacles. Like an RPG, the game interface offers a quest marker in the form of a compass indicating the cardinal points. Objectives are highlighted such as places to go, or NPCs to talk to. This makes it easier for children to find. In addition, the usability is very good.
All is not perfect at Hazelwood
On our walks we would meet another group of very pissed-off girlfriends, but apart from that, life at Hazelwood breathes silence. This allows at least to highlight behaviors that should be avoided in society for the good of all.
Your child can fully enjoy these virtual moments without the risk of content. However, we regret the marketing orientation that exclusively targets little girls. Pink and pastel colors if desired. There are still good interactions that explain how to care for the mountain and by extension, animals in general.
We can blame the title for its graphic rendering. Certainly the characters and animals are well modeled with smooth textures and pleasing animations. However, the environment still leaves a lot to be desired. There is clipping and uneven graphical rendering of nature compared to buildings and characters. For example, trees are pixelated and flat.
Then, the main quest is pretty short. Very quickly we find ourselves going round and round. After ten in-game days, which equates to five or six hours of play, the main axis is over. There are, as we said, side quests, but they only boil down to shopping when there may be more possibilities in this semi-open world.