While most of us are extremely knowledgeable in all things detective, there are many games that are educational fun. One such game is Star Stable, which is a horse stable and riding game with a lot of features that provide both a fantastic and high resolution and quality graphics and UI. This game is designed for the female player by a majority team of women designers and programmers, and that explains why over 50% of the players are female.
Star Stable has over half a million real-time users logged on per month; this is a subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) that combines action with family fun. This is a non-violent game that delivers excitement and fun, and the end result is that many players send cakes and other fun stuff to the designers, a world full of love, unlike the gifts that might be delivered for games like World of Warcraft (I shudder to think).
The average age of the players are 13 years old, and the game is set on the Island of Jorvik. A fantasy island created by company Star Stable Entertainment AB, which was founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 2011. The company’s CEO is Fredric Gunnarson, and the game has now got more than 5 million users worldwide, of which a solid majority are females. Star Stable Online is played in over 180 countries and is localized in 11 languages to date.
Now that I have proven the point that Star Stable Online is a profitable and enjoyable game let’s take a closer look at the game itself and what attracts so many young players.
You can play Star Stable for free, but you will need to pay to unlock the game and get full access to all adventures and quests. Paying means you become a Star Rider.
The Star Rider status gives you access to choose any breed of horse, take on thousands of quests and constant updates that arrive every week on Wednesday. This is a community game, so be prepared to chat a lot too.
The plans include:
- 1 Month @ $8.49 USD
- 3 Months @ $20.99 USD
- 1 Year Subscription for $74.99 USD
The game is located on the island of Jorvik, which is a Pixel Tales generated environment. Yes, Pixel Takes is the development force behind this game, the idea might be Star Stables, but the development and design are Pixel Tales.
What you get is a very intense clean high-resolution graphic of the island in detail. You start by buying and horse.
You are not limited the number of horses you own, but you will need to train and ride each horse.
Apart from training horses and riding them, you will interact with other players, exchange information, talk about adventures as well as meet different characters (computer generated) while you discover the island. You will also go on quests and participate in challenges.
The game is based on skill levels, and each level or specific level will unlock features that provide more excitement for the experienced player.
Getting around the game requires skills, and these can be learned from an impressive array of tutorials, here is the official horse care tutorial.
The first few levels are designed to teach you the basics of digital horse-riding, and Justin Moorland, a character on the island, will help train you in the Moorland stables.
Once you have adapted to riding and advanced a few levels, you will be able to learn how to jump. This feature is unlocked at level 5. After you reach level 5, Justin will give you a quest that originates from Steve’s farm, and that is when you will learn how to jump.
While you can buy more horses, you can also sell a horse, and if you do, just remember, it is virtually impossible to buy the horse back. You do this by placing the horse in a pasture, and then you double-click on it. You then remove all the animal’s equipment and click on the text “sell this horse.” When you do sell it, you get 2,500 Jorvik shillings.
If you want to sell items, you can do that by visiting the shop and clicking on the item. You drag it to the money icon n the screen, and you will be paid for them. However, just like with horses, when you sell quest items, you cannot buy them back.
Jorvik shillings are great to own, but you cannot buy a horse with them, you need star coins for that. Star coins are only given on a weekly allowance basis, based on your subscription. If you need more star coins, you will have to buy them with real money via the website or in promotional sales in the store.
When you play, you should be able to see all your friends too. If you cannot see certain friends, or if you don’t want to be seen, you press on ignore tab. If your friend has pressed ignore you, that means that either it was a mistake or you are not really friends. The other reason why you suddenly cannot see friends is that you are playing on different servers, both of you should check the server settings, and if you are on different servers, then you need to get onto the same server.
The game also has rules for misbehaving, and just as you get children that can be nasty or bad in real life, so too can players act out their frustrations online. The site gives you the ability to ignore other players as well as report them. When you report a player, you need to provide as much details about the reason why. Players that are proven to be misbehaved and even determinate to the experience of other players will be blocked from playing. The same goes for players that try to use hacks and bugs to cheat. Any player found using a cheat code or hack will be banned from playing.
As in the real world, so too in Jorvik. There is a reputation level that players build over time. This comes from playing over long time periods, taking on many quests, and rising up in levels of experience. The interaction that players have with other factions and groups also helps to elevate the players status. Improving your reputation is also done through quests, and you can talk to your character to understand what must be done to raise your reputation.
There are many hidden areas, that can only be reached through passing a level. These areas include Dino Valley that can only be reached when you are a star rider at level 16. However, this is not enough; you will also have to have finished the quest where Nic Stoneground flies away with his balloon with your help, and you have a reputation level that is friendly with Valedale.
To get to Epona, you need to be star rider that has helped Helga and her family at their summer cottage and have a reputation level that is friendly with the GED Jarlaheim Office, this is reached when given Ms. Drake’s report about GED’s future plans to Herman, and you have helped Nic Stoneground explore Dino Valley.
So, as you can see, this is not just a simple level-up the game, there are quests, reputations and complex interaction with groups, factions, and friends all creating this magical island experience, and all-around horse riding.
This is a truly exceptional game, design for clean pure fun and excitement. A game that is designed for people that do not seek violence, but seek excitement from challenges, creating friendships, unions, becoming part of a faction, and in general learning about horses. On the underside it is a great political training game teaching you how to weave around friendships to your advantage and manipulate your way into hidden valleys by understanding the need to have a great reputation.
The bottom line: If your daughter loves horses but has an allergic reaction to one, let her play this game and she might not learn hot to really mount and ride a horse, but she will enjoy the wonders of the world of horses and humans online.