A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Taking care of your horse, building a strong reputation as a rider, establishing a bond between horse and rider.
Positive Role Models
Atmosphere mostly positive (there are a few snobbish characters along the way), but message here is definitely girl power.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, but slight learning curve before you unlock new tricks.
Products & Purchases
First five levels free, but must subscribe for full game experience. Monthly subscriptions are one month for $7.49, three months for $19.50, six months for $31.99, lifetime subscription for $69.95. You really can't do much without paying for a subscription.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Star Stable is a downloadable MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) where players explore the island of Jorvik with their trusty horse. They're tasked with taking care of the horse and build a stronger bond doing so. The more tasks you complete, the faster you earn rewards. Tasks range from caring for your horse, racing other players, running errands, and interacting with players in this virtual community. There's no questionable content, but parents should be aware that players will be forced to pay for subscriptions to successfully explore more than the first five levels of the game; subscriptions range from monthly to lifetime.
Is It Any Good?
Playing Star Stable is simple enough, because it draws a player in with a diverse story line and a variety of tasks to keep you busy. Jumping over obstacles and dashing through various races is entertaining enough, but the realistic side of caring for a horse is enjoyable as well. You must take care of your horse to earn new skills and become a better rider, as well as progress through levels. The game receives weekly updates and additions to content for players who have finished everything. Star Stable is definitely marketed towards tween girls -- shopping is a girl's best friend here, because all your hard work pays off in Jorvik. Just pull up to a seller and choose from a variety of tack, clothing, accessories, and gear for you and your horse. That's notable because, though it targets girls, there's a fair share of adults (and boys) playing this game, as evidenced by its social media following.
But not everything is perfect in this island paradise of horses and adventure. There's no kind of progress or health meter for your animal. Since you don't always know which tack or accessories are best for your animal, having some kind of feedback would be helpful, instead of players being forced to stumble through the game until they figure things out. Star Stable also tends to lag in some spots after being downloaded, which affects the accuracy of navigating a horse during timed races. Its graphics are cartoonish and a bit over the top, which may appeal to some kids, but are nothing like the images on the website, which doesn't feel honest or accurate for the game. There's also the issue that, unless you decide to pay for the lifetime subscription, you'll constantly be paying to explore the story and gameplay. If you or your kids don't love horses, you may find yourself bored with this game quickly. Star Stable is a fun experience for horse fans, but other players may start to move to greener pastures.
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.