Star Stable Online is a free to play MMORPG that's all about horses and female heroines.
Players create their characters and horses, and are taken to Jorvic, a fantasy island in which you'll quest, raise and train horses, and grow your heroine and stable while making new online friends.
The game has been around since 2011 and contains thousands of quests, but quantity doesn't mean quality as most of the questing mechanics are old-school in nature and mundane.
Gameplay mechanics are rather clunky when it comes to horse control, but key systems like racing are fun to participate in.
The game while free does have a limited trial up until level 5, when a payment becomes necessary to continue playing.
Overall, it's a unique MMORPG for younger audiences and horse lovers alike.
You've definitely played a conventional fantasy MMORPG before, but what about one in which there are only female characters in a world devoted to horses and adventure?
That in a nutshell is what Star Stable Online is all about. Launching back in 2011, Star Stable Online offers a free to play trial up until level 5, before a one-time payment or monthly subscription is required to unlock the full game. Behind that, however, lies a plethora of content ranging from story quests, festivals, social activities and horse races.
After creating your heroine and starter horse, players are dropped onto the island of Jorvik - a fantasy domain full of adventure, to begin their journeys. The tutorial ensues immediately and it's a casual stroll through the early levels, as you discover your purpose on Jorvik and lay the ground work for what lies ahead.
Among the first things you'll be doing on Jorvik are quests.
Quests in Star Stable Online follows familiar MMO tropes like fetching objects and clicking things, which is mundane and gets old quickly.
Luckily, NPCs flesh out the narrative in cute and fun ways which is understandable considering the target audience is likely younger players.
Questing is also the main way to make money in this game, and you'll need that to buy most items in-game.
Players will spend plenty of time on their horses, moving from quest to quest. This is where you'll get the hang of horse riding and caring for your steed.
You can mount and dismount at any time, equip cosmetics and gear for your horse, and groom it at stables when you're not questing with it.
Horse racing is a key activity in this MMO, and taking part in races which are held in cool tracks can yield currency and experience, which is important for the growth of your horse.
Higher level horses are faster and easier to control, which also means early level horse riding can be a pain due to clunky controls.
For players who want to get into that MMORPG grind, does Star Stable Online offer anything substantial?
The game has both vertical and horizontal progression systems, mainly in the form of horse growth and collections.
Your character will spend plenty of time training and grooming your mounts which is very beneficial for more tricky race tracks, while your character itself will need to level and unlock more areas of the map to explore.
This in return unveils more NPC characters and quests, which adds more lines to your to-do checklist in-game. From a content perspective, it can get pretty overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the majority of these new quests you uncover are often mechanically the same fetch, talk and pick-up chores that add very little depth for better rewards, but players will complete them anyway because there's no reason not to.
Undoubtedly, horses are the star of the game naturally, thus you'll spend more time trying to collect every horse in the game and focus on levelling them up which is extremely time-consuming .
This is due to some horses being available only during seasonal events, or rarer ones being in the cash store only.
For horse lovers this is no doubt where the fun is at in this MMO.
The social aspect is also somewhat enjoyable, as you'll see plenty of other players horsing around the island, and its easy to make new friends due to the casual nature of the game.
You can also join guilds and participate in guild-run races and more, which should make your time in Star Stable Online all the more pleasant.
The one area of major criticism for Star Stable Online lies with how the game looks and feels.
For the most part, the graphics and animations are somewhat cute and lively, but one can't help but feel that the entire visual package is very outdated which can affect gameplay.
Textures and graphical assets are often bland and repetitive, and it's only somewhat offset by the game's diverse customization options for characters and horses, which appear to have more focus on looking modern compared to everything else in the game. Elsewhere, the soundtrack is lively at least, and the environments are lush and cozy for those evening virtual-horse rides along the Jorvik countryside.
Is Star Stable Online worth playing?
Considering its the only horse MMORPG around, if you love the theme, it's a definite yes.
Not only does the horse aspect of the gameplay like racing and exploring fun, but doing so with others makes it a pretty unique online experience that offers some variety from the usual fantasy MMORPG that's all about combat, raids and grinds.
The game may be dated visually and mechanically, but it still boasts a healthy playerbase that is in it for the right reasons, and that's their love for equines.
We are only a few days away from the arrival of 2023: as is tradition, between one panettone and another, we at AreaMMO are here to take stock of the year that is drawing to a close and the prospects that lie ahead. And no, of course we're not ... » read more
What We Liked..
Unique MMORPG experience
Social friendly community
Plenty of content
Mobile version available
.. and what we didn't
Restrictive free trial
What we liked..
.. and what we didn't