Pippa Funnell: Take the Reins
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|Pippa Funnell: Take The Reins|
Pippa Funnell: Take The Reins is a videogame released by Ubisoft for the PlayStation 2 and PC. In Pippa Funnell: Take The Reins, the player is Jade, the newest member of the Sycamores Riding School in Scotland. Players can select a horse from a variety of breeds and colours. The player trains their horse in different disciplines, enters shows, and cares for their horse.
Pippa Funnell: Take The Reins is also known as Alexandra Ledermann: L'Ecole des Champions in France.
As the player, they have to arrange a timetable so that they can pass each week. To pass, they must obtain a certain score 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. They must also have a high social rating, which is obtained by spending time in the lounge talking to other academy riders, performing well in disciplines and purchasing items from the shops. Between training and caring for your horse, foal, and talking to the other riders, they may go shopping, change their attire in their bedroom and study in the library.
Throughout the game, there are numerous cutscenes, events where the character has to find something (some of these can be very difficult) and riddles. The player is sometimes helped by a "voice" called Elsys. 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. (Choosing the name of the horse is only available on the PC version) The player can choose from many breeds. Each breed has a range of colours including a number of shades of brown, bay and grey. After the horse is selected and named, play begins with Jade in a train, sending an e-mail to her brother Lucas and a cutscene. The player then arrives at the Academy.
The main character is Jade and her horse. Other characters include the staff at the riding academy and fellow riders.
Spike: Male, spiky blonde hair. He can sometimes be quite impolite to fellow pupils. A rebel, nothing seems to faze him. He is only at the academy by his parent's request. We later learn that he is from a dangerous background.
Ginger: Female, fair skin, long blonde hair. From a good family. Knows how to treat the boys.
Jade: Main character, female, short red hair with clear grey eyes and freckles. Friendly and kind. Average size, sporty appearance. Pleasant personality but with a strong character. She has what it takes to outwit authority, if the cause is right.
Esteban: Male, Spanish, short black hair. Tanned skin and clear blue eyes. Classic European dress sense. Not too eccentric, shows his gentle personality to everyone.
Kiew: Female, Asian, long black hair. Simple clothing, mostly black, white, or blue. She has a very competitive spirit and does not like defeat.
Whilst in Morocco, Jade suspects Kiew of tampering with her horse box, so she breaks in to Kiew's room while she is having a swimming competition with Spike. Kiew, however, comes back and catches Jade red-handed, and the director takes all the player's money away.
In the lounge, the player can talk to these friends and learn their stories.
Horse Care: Taking care of a horse. Horse Care includes washing, grooming, hoof picking, and mucking his stall. It is best to do this at least 4 times a week if you want to pass this category.
Cross Country: Player canters their horse around the course, pressing the spacebar key (PC) or X button (PlayStation 2) to jump when they are in the right spot (there is a green circle that they must be in when they jump, otherwise their horse will baulk or throw them).
Dressage: Players press the left and right arrow keys/buttons in time to make their horse perform the correct gait. Other keys/buttons are also used to control their horse and halt and salute.
Showjumping: A fairly difficult discipline to master. Players canter inside the ring following the arrows and jumping at the jumps.
Foal Care: Once the player has their foal, they have to take care of it. During Foal Care, the foal will perform 3 actions. The player then needs to guess what the foal wants based on what it does. Each week, it is suggested that the player should go to the library and read up on foal care, and take notes so they can look at them and decide which action they think their foal is doing, and act accordingly.