My son Nicholas chose this CD-ROM for a birthday gift at Toys R Us when he turned five. At the time he was very interested in Horses. We would watch Rodeo on cable and view Black Beauty on a daily basis. We even purchased a large stuffed horse that Nicholas would ride around the house on. I subscribed to Horse Rider for his perusal. He loved the posters and learning about Horses. When he was about eight we sold it on ebay.
I put the cd in the computer with eager eyes waiting and after filling out the forms to register we then were given the option to name a Horse. We chose the names from Black Beauty.
The horses are white, black and brown to choose from. They are in the stable waiting for the arrival of Barbie. You have the option of grooming your horse before a ride. Which makes lots of sense, horse sense, that is. You can click on carrots and/or apples for your horse to eat. Barbie talks during this and calls the horse by its name. The sounds are realistic too. My son likes the brushing part and does this over and over before we get to the next step.
Next you can put on a saddle and bridle and move (with the mouse) the Horse to outside the stable and opt for a race. Once the race starts it is quite exciting. I learned rather quickly that the horse will sit there when it comes to a lake, river, or tree branch or stump in the way. You must click on the mouse and your horse makes a sound and jumps over it. You really do get the feel for riding on a horse and must direct the horse, like one riding on an actual horse would do.
There are trails that you can take and one that rides right along the ocean and then the rocks are falling as well. There are forks in the road and you are given the choice of continuing on the ride or going back to the stable.
Nicholas had a hard time remembering to click when the horse needs to jump and I would find him sitting there waiting for something to happen. The age recommendation is five and up.
There is a race option where Barbie races with Christie and Teresa and that is not as exciting for my son. I do enjoy that though. There is a section with ribbons, certificates and badges and you can print these out.
Barbie Adventure Riding Club comes with a very thorough User guide that goes into detail about the Horseback Ridiing Missions, a Frog Game, Apple Sorting Game and Vine tangle.
We had a nice horse icon on the computer and every time I signed on Nicholas would want to know why the horse picture was there. He knew where the box was kept and would slip the CD-Rom in and start racing away, usually waiting for a nudge from me at the jump section.
I have seen this game at stores and it is available through these Sellers on amazon.
Adapted from a previously published review on Epinions
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