Who knew you could actually outrace the sunset? In Pony Wings, you set your sights on doing exactly that. For those who are unfamiliar with the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series, Scootaloo is a young Pegasus who has yet to figure out how to fly. In the animated series, she has found a way to overcoming this this little issue. Since her heart wants what it wants, she starts flight by using her tiny wings to propel her off the ground. But instead of relying on those wings completely, she follows it up with skillful maneuvers of her trusty scooter instead. In the Pony Wings game, she uses red roller skates to catch some air time, but the concept is pretty much the same.
As her guide, your job is to help time her dives and drops in order to prolong her time in the daylight for as long as you can. You may collect parasprites which give you an extra speed boost.
This charming, bite-sized game is easy to learn but hard to master. Using either the S key or your left mouse button, you can make Scootaloo flutter her wings rapidly to gear up for a ramp, or to change her diving angle. A time meter can be found on the lower left corner of the screen. This shows how much daylight you have left and may be slowed or hastened depending on how fast Scootaloo is gliding through the hills. On top of that meter is a bar which shows Scootaloo's jump height. The maximum distance covered is displayed on the right corner of the screen.
As an outrun game, you may think it is all about charging and boosting. On the contrary, it is more effective to have good timing in terms of your landings and boosted launches. The parasprites are easily missed if you happen to jump too high and land flat on top of Equestria's lush green hills –this will mean that you lose all your momentum and will have zero velocity to carry over to the next jump. So the focus is more on making each jump count (as opposed to rushing things). If you are not too careful with her pace, Scootaloo may just go off screen, which is great speed-wise but it will make you miss out on collecting those fluttering parasprites.
Blending simple game mechanics and challenging skill requirements, this is a great game to fill in those short breaks with. Your first tries are likely end in just seconds, but once you get used to adjusting Scootaloo's charges for the terrain, you may find yourself surprisingly addicted to the rinse and repeat style of game play. Basically, it is a more relaxed, cuter version of Robot Unicorn Attack which relies more on your determination to top your own scores.
That being said, it would have been great to have some way to post leader board scores or to at least be able to compare points with friends in order to keep a record of your hard earned points. Also, implementing a variety of power ups may have added some strategy element to the game. Not only will it encourage different playing styles, it would have also been cool to show fans of the series a semblance of Scootaloo's signature air tricks.
Pony Wings is certainly fantastic from an artistic perspective. Scootaloo's looks and expressions as well as the Equestria hills background looks like they were taken straight out of the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic show. What would have topped off the already awesome game graphics would have been the ability to switch Scootaloo's ride to an actual scooter. Regardless, the idea of the Cutie Mark Crusader trying to outrun the sunset with roller skates is not unlike her personality and is good enough to warrant fan appreciation.
When it comes to music, Pony Wings makes use of an instrumental, fan-made acoustic remix of the Winter Wrap Up theme. The chosen track effectively gives that cheery, relaxed vibe which suits the pace of its outrun-style game play as well as the dreamy backgrounds just fine. And while it does keep you in a good mood while playing the game, the loop has the tendency of sticking with you long after you have closed your browser. In case you are turning into a zombie pony and you have had enough, there is always the option mute the volume and play something else to your liking.
If you liked Robot Unicorn Attack and you are looking for something a bit more technical, Pony Wings may just be your perfect match. While it does not have the adrenaline inducing game play the former offers, it still offers quite a challenge, balanced out nicely with simple and responsive controls. If this is your first outrun game, your first few tries may be short lived, but as you adjust to the system, it is almost inevitable that you would become addicted to this bite-sized game. Pony fans of all ages should at definitely give this marvel a try, but with no full story to back it up, parents may need to add some creative storytelling to fill in Scootaloo's impromptu adventure for very young kids.