Friday was a snow day so we spent some family time playing games. I was recently introduced to Star Stable and since Gabby is a huge horse lover I knew she would enjoy reviewing the online computer game with me. It is not often that I allow my kids to play on the computer in my office so this was a special treat.
What I instantly loved about Star Stable is that once the game was downloaded and launched to play, it opened full screen. This made me feel more comfortable about allowing my children to play the game even if I wasn’t standing in the office. I knew that there would not be any accidental deleting of my documents. I launch the game for them and when they are done playing they tell me so I can close it.
When you register to play for free, you create an account using your email address. The setup process only took a few minutes, if that. Once the download is complete you use the same login you registered with online to start the computer game. The initial play prompts you to setup your character and horse. You can change the face shape, eye color, with or without makeup, and hair length/color. You then select a name for your girl using the drop down menu.
It just so happens that one of the First Names listed was Gabrielle. So Gabby stuck with her real name. There is no option to type in your name, you must select from the list. The last name was fun to create. You mix two words together and we tried several combos until we found one that she loved and that was not already taken. She decided on Gabrielle Bravedawn.
Next you select your horse. One of Gabby’s favorite childhood movies was Black Beauty so she went with a black horse and white mane. She also named him. Again you combine two words to create the horse name. She went with Darknova, which I thought was fitting.
Throughout the game you can walk around or ride your horse. There are several challenges you can take to earn coins. The coins are used to purchase new riding gear, food and water for your horse, accessories to dress up your horse and yourself. The items sold by the various venders are not cheap and the challenges do not pay a lot of money each. I joked with my husband after testing the game myself about how this game teaches kids how hard it is to earn a dollar and how quickly it can be spent. You really have to save up to buy new things for your character.
Some of the challenges include helping the shop owners, stopping the construction crew from tearing up all the nice land and cleaning the stables – yes, even cleaning the poo. Each day you have to brush, feed and provide water for your horse. If you keep your horse’s health up you will also earn money. So although the coins come in small increments, there is always ways to earn more. The game can keep you busy for hours.
With each challenge and interaction with the people in the village, you must read. There is a lot of reading during the entire game. Even though Star Stable is geared towards tween girls, all my children played it. My son just wanted to run around on the horse and partake in the races but since he is only 8 he couldn’t do much beyond that since the reading required of him made it slightly difficult. He was able to do the challenges if I told him what it asked, however.
The better you care for your horse and the more riding gear you collect, the faster your horse will run. There truly are incentives through each step of the game. So far we have made it to level 3.
Star Stable teaches many skills. Math lessons, responsibility, determination, patience and reading.
The game is free up to level 4, which from what I predict is several hours of play. Membership comes in several options. You can buy a lifetime membership of the game or simply pay monthly. I think the best offer is their buy one month for $7.49 and get the second month free. This gives your daughter two full months to see if she likes it before purchasing the lifetime membership. With each membership you receive monthly coins which will help your child progress in the game much faster than the free version.
Does your child love playing games? Which is your tween’s favorite to play?
Full Disclosure: I was asked to review this game with my daughter. We were given a complimentary membership for three months. All opinions are 100% my own.