My Horse and Me 2 would not be the first choice for the enthusiast gamer to pickup and play. Buying the game from a high street retailer would most likely result in extreme self consciousness and a hat full of excuses like “It’s for my daughter/wife/partner/mother/sister”. However, the prospect of 1000 easy achievement points can make you play games you would not normally consider.
My Horse and Me 2 turns out to be a rather enjoyable, if simplistic, sports game. Essentially it is a “Three Day Eventing” simulator (Dressage, Show-jumping, Cross Country) with various horse grooming mini games thrown into the mix. Despite being clearly aimed at young girls, My Horse and Me 2 avoids many of the usual female social stereotypes. It is only the unintentionally funny cutscenes and sugary presentation that illustrate you’re playing something aimed at a specific gender.
The horse grooming mini games are rather tedious, but the actual horse riding is really enjoyable. The horse riding mechanics will be familiar to anyone who played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Majora’s Mask: you control the speed and direction of the horse, whilst the jumping is either automatic or initiated by a button press, depending on the difficulty level chosen. You can play and win all eight regional competitions in under 6 hours but there is still a decent challenge on the harder difficulty. If you also make time to complete the mini-games, you’ll see your gamerscore swell by a handsome 1000 points.
It would be easy to dismiss games like My Horse and Me 2 as childish and simplistic. However, entertainment can be found in the unlikeliest of places and there are far worse ways of boosting your gamescore.