Spirit Forever Free review. A game from my distant childhood. I recently replayed through it for this review, and it feels the same as it did then. It's an awesome game. It follows the aftermath of the film. Games related to Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron - Forever Free. Monty on The Run (2001).
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At the height of their success, Dreamworks were hard at work to pump out as many animated features as they possibly could. Now, not all of them could be Shrek, but to aim for the moon often means you’ll nestle amongst the stars. So that’s exactly what they aimed to do with Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. This movie would inevitably need an accompanying licenced game to supplement sales and before long this would be announced on the GBA with the same title as the movie in question.
This game plays rather like point and click adventures or some popular mobile games of today. Take The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Day Of The Tentacle, Escape from Monkey Island and Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life as prime examples of this.
This game aims to capture the essence of this heartwarming film while still providing a fun and fresh gameplay experience. So, does this game capture the film’s spirit, or is it a half baked representation? We find out in our review of Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
Run Like The Wind
First, lets address the shortcomings in terms of the overall presentation. In terms of sound quality, the game actually does a good job of providing some nice overtures and voice notes. Granted on the GBA this all sounds like white noise anyway but in terms of effort, you can see some went in here. Less can be said for the visual display. Most of the game is played from a top-down perspective where the sprites aren’t a great representation of the characters in the movie but rather just horses in general. Then the backdrop is like a watercolour JPEG.
Then with regards to the story of this game, it doesn’t follow the narrative of the film and rather fulfils the core concept of the film which is returning wild horses to their homeland. So, this is what you do and in all honesty, this is about as dull of a concept as you are likely to find in any horse related game out there and god knows there are plenty to choose from. There is little motivation to carry out the actions the game puts before you and perhaps sticking to the script was a better idea.
Knows its Market
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The one thing that you can say about this game that turns out to be its biggest positive, is that the game knows what to highlight to players. This game is primarily aimed at kids and more specifically at female, horse loving gamers. So the game really focuses on the taming and caring for horses aspect of the game. Much to the detriment of the other aspects of the game but quite frankly, that wont matter much to the desired audience for this game.
Overall, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is a game that really focuses on the more mundane aspects of the film this game is inspired by. There is fun to be had for those that enjoy the horse caring simulation aspects of the title. However, it terms of narrative, gameplay variety, difficulty or visual spectacle, this game leaves the player wanting much, much more.
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If you want a game that does the movie justice, you’ll be very much disappointed but for a casual horse related game for kids, this game fits the bill.
- Sound quality is decent, even on GBA
- Decent horse caring sim mechanics
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- Game isn’t a good representation of the movie
- Visuals are sub-par
- Gameplay is dull and lacks and nuance or difficulty
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Overall rating: 5