A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Most of the tricks are fairly easy to pull off on their own, though some can get more complicated when combining timing, balance, etc. The real difficulty comes in performances, where players rely on memory to chain tricks together.
Products & Purchases
While the game's a totally free release, without the trappings of in-app purchases, its main purpose is to serve as an interactive advertisement for the DreamWorks and Netflix animated series on which it's based.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Spirit Riding Free Trick Challenge is a free horse-riding game available for download on iOS and Android mobile devices. The game is based on the Spirit Riding Free animated series from DreamWorks and Netflix. Players take on the role of "Lucky" Prescott as she trains with her horse Spirit to perform a variety of riding tricks, using a combination of swipes, taps, and other motions. After practicing these tricks, players set up custom performance shows that require chaining the tricks together. The game's designed for younger audiences, particularly fans of the show, and features no violence or other objectional content.
Is It Any Good?
In this age of "free-to-play" games, full of in-app purchases, subscriptions, ads, and other monetization methods, it's surprising to find a game that's well and truly free. Of course, it becomes a lot more understandable when you realize that Spirit Riding Free Trick Challenge is actually just one big interactive advertisement for a kids' animated series. The game's based on the DreamWorks and Netflix animated series Spirit Free Riding, and it makes sure that you know it, plastering its "Now Streaming" logo on the home screen. That's not to say there isn't more to the app than just advertising, but you shouldn't expect any kind of rich gaming experience either.
The main gist of the gameplay is pretty simple. Players spend time practicing the motions for different horse-riding tricks that definitely should never be tried at home. These include doing cartwheels on the back of the horse and jumping through rings of fire, all things that would likely have animal activists in an uproar. Still, the controls are relatively easy, with the bulk of the difficulty being in memorizing the patterns required for each trick. After mastering a set of tricks, players put that memory to the test by creating custom performances that chain tricks together, but give players none of the onscreen prompts to execute those tricks. While it can be entertaining initially, the game gets repetitive quickly. Plus, there's a surprising lack of content considering the source material. Players only train and perform in one area and none of the show's supporting cast ever makes an appearance. As a result, serious fans of the Spirit show will love this app, but casual viewers will probably move on to a different app after a little while.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.