My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure kicks off a season where publisher Outright Games has a ton of kid-friendly titles lined up for all major systems. Although we’re not intimately familiar with present-day My Little Pony content, it was a massive franchise when we were growing up so we were curious to see how the game would turn out.
Further fueling our curiosity was the fact that Melbot Studios was on development duty for this one – the studio that created the Melbits Pod that won the inaugural 2020 edition of EuroPlay during Gamescom, a creative blend of videogames and toys. My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure is a lot safer and more generic though, with rather simple and repetitive gameplay and a very short campaign mode. Enthusiastic fans likely won’t mind, but strip away the license and this isn’t the best game Outright has put out.
These kid-centered titles are rarely (if ever) 10+ hour adventures, and often they’re structured like loosely connected single missions with some replay value for grabbing all of the collectibles in the game. Here, those are “magic bits”, but getting through the entire campaign only took us about an hour and fifteen minutes. Granted, young kids might take a bit longer, but the average eight year old gamer isn’t going to get stuck on this one for long either.
Add the My Little Pony license into the mix, however, and you’ve got a story adventure that sees you helping out familiar faces like Hitch and Pipp through simple grab quests that are connected to straightforward platforming when even the jumps are near-automated by being reduced to pressing a button when near a jump pad in order to jump up. It’s perfectly suited to the youngest of gamers, who can stay engaged with these familiar characters without running into any kind of serious challenge.
Older gamers, and gamer parents in particular, will notice the lack of diversity in gameplay and locations, especially when you consider the price tag for the game. The game (unlike Outright’s Ice Age game) doesn’t scale towards older players through extra collectibles or anything like that either, so when your young one is done with it, they’re really done. There’s a little replay value in the minigames that you can replay from the main menu (and because they support couch multiplayer, they’re the most fun part for parents), but that’s about it.
Aside from the environments that repeat, My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure has decent production values for kids – characters are all very recognizable and voiced, so young fans will probably delight in seeing that. Just don’t expect the excitement to last too long.