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|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Windows|
Horsez is a videogame released by Ubisoft on October 26, 2006 for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PC and Game Boy Advance. This PC game is the sequel to Champion Dreams: First to Ride and is also part of the second series of Petz. In Horsez, you play as Flora (this is the default name), a new member of the Sycamore Academy. Players can select a horse from one of 5 breeds and a range of colours. The player trains their horse in different disciplines, enters shows, cares for their horse, and after a few weeks gains a foal to raise.
Horsez is also known as Pippa Funnell 3: The Golden Stirrup Challenge.
As the player, you have to arrange your timetable so that you can pass each week. To pass, you must obtain a certain score out of 10 for each of the disciplines, and must train in that discipline at least twice a week. The disciplines are Horse Care, Cross Country, Dressage, Showjumping, and later Foal Care and Learning. You must also have a high social rating, which is obtained by spending time in the Student Centre talking to other academy riders, performing well in disciplines, taking and displaying photographs in the Student Centre, and purchasing items from the shops. Between training and caring for your horse, foal, and talking to the other riders, you may go shopping, change your attire in your bedroom, study in the library and go for a walk with your horse. In each country, there are a number of secrets to find. These are small figurines, and there are 10 in total.
Throughout the game, the player is sometimes given control of the protagonist or the horse, and can move around freely. There are numerous cutscenes, events where your character has to find something (some of these can be very difficult) and riddles. Preceding many events is a journal entry with a voiceover. These events, combined with the contrasting disciplines, ensure the gameplay is variable.
First, the player must choose a name for the character they will be playing and a mount. The player can choose from 5 breeds: Arabian Thoroughbred, English Thoroughbred, Connemara, Appaloosa and Saddlebred. Each breed has a range of colours including a number of shades of brown, bay and grey. After the horse is selected and named (the horse's name is ignored for the rest of the game), play begins with a journal entry and a cutscene. The player is then given control of the horse.
The main character is Flora and her horse. Other characters include the staff at the riding academy, fellow riders, and later the player's rival, Daniela. Daniela's director is Esteban, who had a previous relationship with Jade.
Miguel: Male, short brown hair, glasses. Shy, loves poetry. Has a crush on the protagonist.
Samuel: Male, dark skin, black hair. Loves loud rock music.
Caroll: Female, red hair. Fairly quiet, can be a bit slow.
Aurelie: Female, brown hair. Plays the violin. Likes fashion.
In the Student Centre, the player can talk to these friends and learn their stories.
Horse Care: Taking care of a horse. Horse Care includes hosing, grooming, picking his hooves and mucking his stall. It is best to do this at least 3 times a week.
Cross Country: You canter your horse around the course, pressing the spacebar key to jump when you are in the right spot (there is a green circle that you must be in when you jump, otherwise your horse will balk or throw you).
Dressage: You press the left and right arrow keys in time to make your horse perform the correct gait. Other keys are also used to control your horse and halt and salute. You need to go to the library and read the books on all the gaits each week to ensure you know them all, otherwise your horse won't do them.
Showjumping: A fairly difficult discipline to master. You canter inside the ring following the arrows and jumping at the jumps.
Foal Care: Once you have your foal, you have to take care of it. During Foal Care, your foal will perform 3 actions. You need to guess what the foal wants based on what it does. Each week, you should go to the library and read up on foal care, and take notes so you can look at them and decide which action you think your foal is doing, and act accordingly.
Learning: Once you have your foal, you need to raise it. Learning involves you teach your foal different gaits.
A sequel was created for Horsez. With somewhat similar plots: the main character is a young woman named Emma. She was sent to France to train to become a veterinarian. However, with the taxi broken down, she has no choice but to take refuge in a small, quiet town. There, she meets Oliver, a nephew of his aunt's stud farm, who is missing its real owner, Marie. After finding out Emma is a vet, he offers to give her shelter if she helps them with a mare in foal. Emma agrees, after meeting Flora, Micheal (formerly called Miguel in Horsez), and Carol, the character is given some objectives. The character delivers a healthy foal, and then is given the choice of the player to stay with the stud farm or leave as a vet. Either way, the game still continues.
Most of the main parts are: The character is given a challenge to spy on the Mayor, who wants to take over the stud farm for a housing development.
The character saves Oliver in three different ways.
The character is given secondary objectives to complete.
The character competes in competitions for extra money and horse breeds.
In the end, the characters win back the stud farm, though end results are dependent on the player's choices throughout the game. In one part, find out that Marie is still alive and well. In this ending she leaves the stud farm to Flora, and promises to visit soon, having settled in New Zealand. Other possible endings include Emma getting Oliver (and herself) tickets to the US so she can show him her country, and Emma and Oliver sharing a kiss on the beach.