Gameplay: An Overview
Though the My Little Pony Story Creator is technically a game, it isn’t a classic video-game experience with a single central character and overarching, pre-planned plot. Instead, this app is marketed as and succeeds in being an immersive experience aimed at young fans who wish to immerse themselves in the characters and surroundings of the fictional world. The app’s central focus is therefore allowing players to create their own fantastical scenario utilising some familiar MLP and even some Equestria Girls characters too. This leads to early learns being able to practice literacy skills through story telling.
The app greets you with its home screen, and in addition to the piercing introduction by a female with a strong American accent, gives you access to the two main sections: Friendship Stories and Create a Story. Both of these sections are really just simple variants of a central story-creating mechanic that underpins the entire experience. Regardless of which mode you choose, the goal is basically the same: to create short clips of My Little Pony/Equestria Girl characters and save them so you can play them back later.
As you can see, this isn’t a game in the classical sense where you have levels to progress through, achievements to unlock, and new worlds to explore. Instead, PlayDate Digital (the game’s developer specialising in entertaining-yet-educational content for children) have designed the app to allow the player to exercise their imagination and creativity by either following a rough storyline and creating the mini-sequences with the characters, sidekicks, props, and accessories available (this is the Friendship Stories mode), or simply being given all objects and free reign as you are in the Create a Story mode.
Creating the Story With Provided Content
The Friendship Stories mode is probably the more entertaining of the two, and arguable more educational. This mode gives you a pre-planned storyline in a setting of your choice, as well as allowing you to choose your pony or equestrian girl, your own props and accessories, and your own sidekick.
All the familiar ponies and girls are here, from Pinkie Pie to Rainbow Dash to Celestia and Apple Bloom. The props, sidekicks, and accessories are also numerous, and all add to the variety of the experience.
The story-creating mechanic is simple, as the game gives you a count-in to when the scene is being recorded. When the scene is live, you simply drag your chosen characters across the screen, and pinch in/out in order to change their size. This really is the only real freedom of movement you have here, since there isn’t any real gameplay, levels, enemies, or anything of the sort to go up against. Friendship Stories is the mode that is most obviously educational, as you are tasked with making your scenes fit the narrated and subtitled instructions, which takes a small amount of logic as well as listening/reading comprehension skills.
The “Create a Story” mode has a little more freedom and can be compared to other pony creator games here www.ponycreators.com. You’re given a simple choice of 3 different backdrops on which you can place various ponies, equestrian girls, and props. You can also choose the background music. When you’re happy, you can tap “Record”, and you will be able to record your clip. You can record multiple clips and string them together if you wish in a collection.
Fun & Educational
The app has a mildly educational dimension for young learners requiring basic reading and audio skills but creates the right balance by providing a more light-hearted and immersive experience of fun rather than being overtly educational. The ponies and equestria girls are colourful, and the app is reasonably polished. There’s enough content to keep any child occupied for several hours, however this depends on whether they require goals, levels, and targets to be entertained. If so, this game lacks a little in “achievements” and other things to work towards. As a simple My Little Pony experience, however, My Little Pony Story Creator achieves its purpose very well.