So… every once in a while, I go on a new kick and drive my buddy Jester nuts. In a good way, though. A while ago, I had PonyStars — and thank goodness that went off so I could stop wasting time clicking and mucking and feeding. Now, it’s Horse Racing.
Horse Racing Fantasy is a free, online horse racing game. Breed and train and race your own horses. Yeah yeah, blah blah. But this isn’t your typical click-click-click all day thing. These are real horse races that you, you know… REALLY race! Um, real virtual horses in real virtual races. GAH, let me explain.
There are two quick-play options in this game: Jockeying and Betting. (No, it’s not real money.) You press the button, you get the lineup of horses, you can choose to ride one in the race, and/or bet on the race. Then you go onto the 3d racetrack and run the actual race.
How well and how fast the horse runs depend on umpteen-hundred factors. The track surface, the conditions, the horse’s genetic traits. Does your horse have the speed and stamina to charge out in front and stay there for a mile? Do you have to hang back to conserve your energy for a final-turn charge? Did you just press the go-go-go button all that time and now your horse is gimping along 30 lengths behind the leader?
It’s rather frustrating, truth be told. Especially when you have no idea what you are doing. The site’s organization is… a bit disorganized, and the instructional pages could use some editing. But at the same time, it is addictive as anything. I swear, it’s worse than a slot machine! You just gotta keep trying to do better!
Anyway, you do those quick races (riding or betting, it doesn’t matter), and if you do well enough, you earn points. Points are like money in this game. If you own your own horse, they charge you stabling rent per month. (You have to play about 10 days to cover this monthly cost.) Your first horse is free, however.
Remember how I went nuts with colour charts and breeding PonyStars for traits and colours? Uh, no? Well… how about the experimentation and breeding programs I did for Creatures? No, huh? Ah, well, if you *had,* you’d recognize an instant Bloodsong draw, here. There’s like 13 pages of sires and dams you can pair up to produce your foal. These are all real horses, (Some may be virtual; I’m not sure) — Secretariat, SeaBiscuit, Man o’ War; they’re all in there. And the stats… Oh, the distances, the stamina, the preferred surface type and conditions….!
No, I didn’t read every single stat on every single sire and dam. There were too many, even for me. I just uhm… picked some of the names I liked. Well, it worked out!! I paired up Man o’ War with one of Secretariat’s fillies (“The Iron Lady”), and now I own Iron Maiden. (That’s a Heavy Metal reference. Award yourself 100 Bloodsong Points if you got that.)
And then you get your horse’s stats and evaluation. His base speed rating isn’t that great, but it’s okay. His top speed is good, stamina is good; his breakaway and early speeds are crap. But he likes just about every surface to run on, it seems. Plus he’s very responsive to the jockey, and he’s got courage.
Now you go into the Advanced race setups to set up training and evaluation of your new future champion. And you watch your horse in several races, and he sucks. :X So you try to ride him in a few, and he really, REALLY sucks.
But (remember how obsessively addicted I am to breeding traits and racing horses), I finally figured out how to work the fool Advanced thing to advantage, and I discovered the trick to getting Iron Maiden to win. HOO! Now all I have to do is figure out how these Trainer Tournaments work….
I was in a Jockey tornament this week. Um… I’m really, *really* good at coming in second. :X Unfortunately, the tournament was a “most wins” style and I won…. say, 2 out of 10? Maybe 3. :X
I seem to have a high newbie Points Per Start average, as some tournaments I am overqualified for. However, since I don’t have 500 races total, I can’t enter the PPS tourneys.
If you enjoy horse racing games, or betting on horse races and handicapping and all that, if YOU want to try ten races or so of this game…. Well, if I invite you, I can get a nice boatload of points. Unfortunately, they don’t have a referral link setup. :/ I would have to send you an email from their site. And, YOU get 5,000 points, too!
Also note: when you sign up, they do ask for your name and address. They DO NOT ASK FOR BILLING INFORMATION. Unlike another online horse racing site I tried. :P There’s no obligation to pay anything, ever. However, also keep in mind your profile will list your first name and location by default. So you should edit your profile when you log in. If you’re touchy about that sort of thing.