My daughter, Sienna turned 5 a few months back and she has been taking an interest in gaming recently. I’ve been trying to find games that she can enjoy, ones that hold her interest and even titles that we could possibly play together. Developed and published by Wild River Games, Horse Club Adventures 2: Hazelwood Stories is a new game that seems to be just what I’m looking for. Sienna loves ponies and horses. So, a game where you ride and care for horses really hits the right spot. But, how does it play? Well, that is what this daddy/daughter review is going to cover.
“Saddled, up and away! Ride together with the girls from Horse Club and discover a colorful world full of adventure. In Horse Club Adventures 2 – Hazelwood Stories you can plunge once again into the colorful world around Lakeside and experience adventures on horseback!”
Before I even loaded the game up, I put the trailer on first, just to see if Sienna would be interested. She loved it and kept asking if she could play it. She was entranced right away. The basic gist of Horse Club Adventures 2: Hazelwood Stories has you taking part in a photography contest. Along the way, you’ll meet plenty of people and get involved in all sorts of adventures. You start out by creating your own avatar with numerous customisable options. You can also name and create your own horse. The character/horse creation is pretty well-detailed for a game of this type. There are plenty of options and you’ll even unlock more clothing and items as the game progresses.
From there, you are pretty much free to explore the world at your leisure. There is the main story to follow, of taking part in the photography contest, but there is also so much more to do that it is easy to get lost in all that Horse Club Adventures 2 has on offer. Take part in races, collect hidden golden horseshoes, care for your horse and the more you do, the more skills you’ll unlock as your relationship grows.
The map here is huge and I honestly was not expecting this at all. I thought this would be a linear, easy-to-follow horse game. But you get a big map that you are free to explore and a multitude of gameplay options and various mini-games to enjoy. Now, I have to be honest and say that Horse Club Adventures 2 is a bit too advanced for Sienna, with her only being 5 years old. For a kid’s game, this really is very in-depth with a lot to take in. So, Sienna was overwhelmed and couldn’t handle some of the ‘trickier’ aspects. QTE events, mastering slalom racing, timing jumps during races, etc. She’s only 5 and trying to hold a pretty big Xbox controller with loads of buttons is a bit of an issue. But, that’s not the game’s fault at all. As I said, it is a bit overwhelming at her age. However, Sienna still loved just riding around on the horse and just having fun on the map. She may not have been able to follow the story or fully understand the game (yet), but she really enjoyed the basics.
I’ll pick Sienna up from school and she’ll ask ‘Daddy, can we play the horsey game?”. She is totally absorbed by it and absolutely loves playing Horse Club Adventures 2. I think this is a great title for younger gamers and there’s a lot here to keep them happy. Everything is very serene and welcoming about the world and it really is just a nice place to be in. I asked Sienna what she thought about the game and she said that it is “really, really, really brilliant and lovely”, before putting her thumb up. So, that’s her review. She is utterly enthralled by this.
£25 (£35 on Switch) is the price tag for Horse Club Adventures 2: Hazelwood Stories and when I first saw that, I did think that it was a bit too high for a kid’s game. However, now that I have spent some time with this playing with Sienna I have to admit that the £25 price is very reasonable. Horse Club Adventures 2 is a big game, a lot bigger than I expected. A large open-world map, loads of missions and side-quests to do. Multiple and various gameplay options. This game is seriously big and I really wasn’t expecting that. I would suggest adding a fast travel option as the map really is big and getting from one mission to the next can be a massive chore at times.
Granted, the game is a bit too advanced for Sienna with her only being 5.5 years old. So, it is still not quite the daddy/daughter title that I am looking for. But, if you do have kids of your own that are a little older, I reckon around 7+ and they love horses, I think this could be a perfect game for them to play.