Parents' Guide to

Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Lengthy story tangents make for laborious interactive story.

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Interactive episodes like this one are a fun way for fans to take part in the characters' adventures, but their success depends on how well the story balances offering multiple directions with avoiding an endless maze of wrong turns and no end in sight. This Ride Along Adventure trends toward the latter, with lengthy spans of time between turning points and options that take viewers on tangents that feel like full-length episodes unto themselves. What starts out as an exciting mission eventually becomes an exercise in guessing which choice might lead to the exit most quickly.

Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure also involves a fair amount of "realistic" (inasmuch as an animated show can) peril for the young characters. Anyone who knows Lucky and her friends understand they're independent spirits who have the run of their frontier town and its wild surroundings, and this story brings them face to face with horse thieves, their manipulative incarcerated "mob boss" type, and a gaggle of ruffian kids who mostly do the grown-ups' bidding out of fear for the repercussions if they don't. It's a fairly intense scenario that should factor into parents' decision about letting their young kids watch and play along, but likely is OK for the show's young tween fans.

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