Pony Trails is as completely chill and laid back as its title. Most games that deal with a horse usually includes a six shooter and a healthy dose of violence. And although I would have welcomed the chance to kill a few cowboys over the weekend, Pony Trails didn't raise my blood pressure and simply kept things at an even keel. Riding a pony can be an exploratory journey through Mother Nature's beautiful kingdom, and on that level the game delivers.

You are given the option to control the game in two manners; by either shaking your device to control your horse or simply using the touch screen method. Although shaking is an attempt to simulate riding your pony, this method immediately got me dizzy. Thankfully using your touch screen with both hands is not a problem, and learning to navigate through caves and forests should be easily grasped within a couple of minutes.

During your rides, you will be assigned quests to complete within each trail. Although there are gold coins to pick up along the path, the most important element is photographing as many animals as you can while on the pony. With every photograph, you can receive up to three stars, and by collecting a number of stars you unlock even new trails. So the more pictures you snap, the better. My photo and observation skills are downright negligible, hence the one star for the jack rabbit.

After each trail, you can also give your pony a thorough washing, soap suds and all. Rocks and dirt can also be removed from a hoof, and keeping your animal clean will also earn you money. It's a cute side mission that keeps things from getting boring. If you also want a respite from trail riding, you can buy saddles, brides, and blankets at the store, and once you earn $4700, you have the option of purchasing a Shetland. Other ponies available for purchase include a Falabella ($15,000), an Arabian ($20,000), and a Mustang ($9,000).

Your attachment to this game is in direct relation to your love for horses and exploring different terrain. Although receiving daily quests to earn stars and money to buy even more ponies adds much needed variety, don't expect much of an adrenaline rush when playing Pony Trails. This title is ideal for the casual gamer who doesn't mind checking out the scenery and snapping a few photos during the trek. Visually speaking, this game is definitely eye catching. Whether it's watching the sunlight glance off a canyon or just passing through a stately ranch, pretty pictures are abundant no matter which trail you pick.

I really wasn't expecting too much from Pony Trails, but in its subtle and understated fashion, it delivers as a completely diverting and pleasant experience. I was looking for a little rock and roll this weekend on my iPad, but I ended up with a slow jam. Sometimes  enjoying the view, however, is all the music one needs.


App Store Link: Pony Trails for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 70.1 MB | Rating 4+
6.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating