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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
STAR STABLE is a virtual horse-riding game that lets players both young and old care for a horse of their creation. Players choose and customize a girl avatar before selecting from a variety of horses to ride off into the sunset. You'll saddle up and explore the mystical island of Jorvik, which is expansive and takes time to navigate. The island has its fair share of quirky characters, and many will need your help to get a task done or finish a quest. You'll also need to groom, water, and feed your horse to keep him in tip-top shape. Hard work is paid in Jorvik shillings, unlocking new skills for your horse, and points toward building a better reputation as a rider.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it would be like to care for a real horse. Which responsibilities would you have in caring for a horse? How often would you need to groom and feed a horse?
How is the Jorvik shilling similar to real money? Are you paid an allowance for doing chores or taking care of your responsibilities? What do you do with the money you're paid? How can you be responsible with your money?
- Platforms: Mac, Windows
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Monthly fees range from $7.49 a month to $69.95 for a lifetime subscription.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Pixel Tales AB
- Release date: June 8, 2012
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Horses and Farm Animals
- ESRB rating: NR for No Description
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.