Arts 

INDIE GAME OF THE WEEK: UNPLEASANT HORSE

Unpleasant Horse image 5

PLATFORM | APPLE APPS STORE
DEVELOPER | 4TH AND BATTERY
GENRE | ACTION PLATFORMER
RELEASE | 4.27.11
PRICE | FREE

Download Unpleasant Horse

With bin Laden dead it seems like a good time to review Unpleasant Horse, the first game from 4th and Battery, a small division of PopCap games (the mobile game gurus who came up with Plants vs. Zombies). So, yeah—this isn’t quite as “indie” as some of the games from previous weeks, but this is the internet and there are no rules.

Unpleasant Horse doesn’t feel like a full game, but it’s fun for a while and free.

The gameplay is simple, but not deep enough to keep you busy after more than a day or two of  bus-stop sessions.

Unpleasant Horse image 1

You play as the mean horse, jumping from cloud to cloud by tapping the direction you want to travel. Land on a nice pegasus and you’ll pile-drive it into the field of circular saws eternally buzzing below you. Doing so also earns a nice bonus to your score, and getting that score up is the singular objective of the game.

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Once you’ve started a jump, you have to continue on the same path unless you have a feather, which allows you to jump again in mid air. Feathers are picked up by jumping into birds and you can hold onto several at once. Run out of feathers and miss a cloud and you’ll risk a long arc down into the ever-present circular saws, a big splash of horse guts, and a game over.

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The strongest part of Unpleasant Horse is how it uses a cutesey art style and then makes fun of itself. Big-eyed My Little Pony look-alikes whose only purpose is to kill or be killed and a soundtrack that seems to say “hey, isn’t it funny that we picked a metal music because it’s out of place” are fun the first few times you see and hear them. And that’s the game’s strongest point.

So supported firmly by gameplay that isn’t boring and an ironic attitude, Unpleasant Horse is worth a look. Actually, it’s also free, so that’s three reasons to try playing it.

Yeah, it’s hard to argue with free.

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About PAUL RYAN

PAUL RYAN MAKES IT HIS BUSINESS TO WATCH A LOT OF MOVIES AND JUDGE THEM. WITTILY.
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