Long time readers of this blog will know that I’m a pretty big fan of ponies, even casting off the oppressions of my daily job to pursue my career as a pony tamer. Sadly it wasn’t to be as all the ponies in my care suffered an unfortunate trip to the glue factory, something which still haunts me to this day. Still my love and adoration for ponies hasn’t subsided but instead I now find solace in other pony related exploits. You can then imagine how excited I was when I heard that Barbie had released their latest pony related game, Barbie Cali Girl Horse Adventure.

Whilst not strictly a pony centric game Cali Girl Horse Adventure provides many aspects of the pony experience. You play as yourself, a stranger in the land of California looking for that perfect horse to take on an adventure with you. Throughout the adventure you’re presented with many different options providing an enthralling non-linear experience, ensuring that each play through will be quite unlike the ones before. I chose the Gallop on the Beach path initially, and boy was I in for a wild ride.

Let me just take a step back to say something about the graphics of this game, they’re simply stunning. Whilst I’ve been known to gush over any latest gen game Cali Girl Horse Adventure was another step ahead of anything else I had played recently, even Crysis 2. Indeed I spent most of the game just staring slack jawed at the screen, completely and utterly dumbfounded with what I was seeing. Truly game developers of today have a lot to learn from the people behind Cali Girl Horse Adventure and I’m hoping the BarbieHorEngine that drives this makes its way into some more AAA titles.

Some of the real meat of the game is in the customization options that allow you to modify your horse as you see fit. As with any game that provides an in depth character creator I spent the better part of 4 hours narcissisticly  trying to recreate myself within the game. Whilst, as always, I wasn’t able to get a perfect representation of myself I still did quite well managing to get most of the important details correct. Most interestingly the character creator also has a huge impact on how you will progress through Cali Girl Horse Adventure so you’d be wise to make your choice of character look carefully, lest you end up in a situation you just hadn’t planned for.

Combat in the game has been refined to a point where it’s almost indistinguishable from just randomly clicking on the screen. Sure many people will criticize this game for dumbing it down for the console port (which I’ve yet to find a release date for) but to do so misses the incredible amount of innovation that went into creating Cali Girl Horse Adventure. I could go on describing the experience but realistically it’s something so far away from everything else that you just have to experience it for yourself.

Of course what really captivated me was the story behind Cali Girl Horse Adventure. Whilst I won’t dive into any spoilers here it suffices to say that from beginning to end I was hooked, eagerly clicking away at every opportunity to find out what happened next. The ending is uplifting and extremely satisfying, wrapping up the plot succinctly whilst providing an extremely subtle hint that a sequel may or may not be on the horizon. I usually trounce on games that do this but Cali Girl Horse Adventure pulled it off so well that I can’t do anything but commend them for it.

When I was writing out the title for this post I really meant it when I said my life was complete. Barbie’s Cali Girl Horse Adventure has shown me what gaming perfection is, effortlessly capturing all those things which I’ve been longing for in other AAA titles. I really can’t tell you exactly how many hours I lost on this game but suffice to say I loved every single one of them and will probably be going back for another fix very soon. If you’re looking for a game that delivers on every promise that any game has ever made then Cali Girl Horse Adventure is definitely for you.

Rating: 11.0/10

Barbie’s Cali Girl Horse Adventure is available on PC right now for $3399.89. Game was played on the hardest difficulty setting with approximately 238 hours played with my character reaching the “Super Horse Lover” level.

About the Author

David Klemke

David is an avid gamer and technology enthusiast in Australia. He got his first taste for both of those passions when his father, a radio engineer from the University of Melbourne, gave him an old DOS box to play games on.

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