Developer: Daniel Mullins Games
Publisher: Daniel Mullins Games
Played on: PC
Release Date: January 4, 2016
Time Played (Steam): 2.7 hours
After a long, tiring day, sometimes it’s nice to sit down with something simple; something that doesn’t involve lots of complicated mechanics.
Luckily, a number of these games have emerged over the last few years, many of them cropping up in the mobile space.
Looking at the vast catalog of such games, it is clear that one of the more common types is that of the endless runner, and it’s in this genre that Pony Island finds itself.
Interestingly, I tend not to enjoy endless runner games all that much, having tried a few different variants on the formula over the last while.
Somehow, Pony Island managed to suck me in, though, with its charming presentation and enjoyable gameplay.
Non-existent story aside, Pony Island sees you taking control of an adorable winged pony, with the task of running through a variety of sunny, pleasant levels.
On the way, you encounter various obstacles that you need to avoid, including hurdles to jump over and playful butterflies to blow away with gusts of wind.
These simple tasks are performed solely by clicking the left and right mouse buttons, meaning that Pony Island is a very easy game to grasp within a short amount of time; before you know it, you’ll be bravely vaulting over fences like there’s no tomorrow!
A complaint that I have is that these activities can get a bit mundane after a while; there’s no real variety in obstacles that you come up against.
Still, this is mitigated somewhat by the low cost of the game and its fairly short running time; I wouldn’t really say that it overstays its welcome, and I found that it managed to stay quite fresh all the way through.I did encounter a few odd bugs throughout. When I first launched the game, it took a while to get it up and running; there were some problems with items in the menus not being selectable.
There were also some strange graphical glitches throughout; every now and then, it seemed like certain objects in the background were being rendered incorrectly, though I could have been mistaken.
Speaking of the graphics, though, the game uses a very pleasant and colourful art style that really makes it pop!
Everything from the backgrounds to the pony itself is delightfully drawn in an interesting cross between hand-drawn assets and pixel art.
Even the music is thoroughly enjoyable, with some instantly memorable tunes that have been stuck in my head since the day I started playing!
Maybe the most interesting thing about the game’s presentation is that it’s made to look like an old-school arcade cabinet.
Simply adding a border and CRT filter to the screen really adds to the game’s charm; it makes it feel like something I would have messed around with as a kid.Behind its colourful facade, Pony Island hints at being something bigger.
Even as I watched the credits roll, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had missed something; that there was some hidden area of the game left unexplored.
Was there actually more to this game than met the eye?
After thinking about it for a while, though, I came to a simple conclusion: the game was just that much fun!
Remarks about its issues aside, I still had a great time while playing it, and I could definitely see myself coming back to it someday soon!
Enjoy your adventures on Pony Island, everyone!