Top Critic Average
Pony Island messes with players in unexpected ways that stuck with me for days. It took a number of unexpected turns that caught me off guard and was constantly filling me with a sense of inescapable unease. It wasn't on my radar at all before it released, but at under $5 it's a wonderful use of two hours of your life.
I greatly enjoyed the two or so hours it took me to play through Pony Island. This is a game that delights in toying with your expectations and in breaking the fourth wall, in revealing its sinister yet playful world, and in building up a compelling antagonist and telling an ambiguous story. Pony Island is about as punk rock as they come.
Games have taught us to expect the expected, but Pony Island throws the rulebook out the window in this puzzle-cum-runner title where you must escape Satan's clutches.
Due to the fact that Pony Island only asks a minor investment in terms of both time and price point ($5), but even more so because it's just so much fun, it falls under "must-play" territory and provides a vastly different experience from other modern-day indies.
Pony Island is a small game that will never manage to get the audience of an AAA release but in many ways, this game is more engaging than plenty of the big launches of last fall because it features some truly innovative moments and can deliver a narrative that it's disturbing and interesting to the end.
Pony Island is clever, creative and veritably ludicrous. It's not heavy on mechanics, and puzzles can slow down the experience, but its satanic tendencies and cultural observations endures far beyond its prompt closure. Neither for, nor about ponies.
In an attempt to frame the antagonistic nature of the designer/player dynamic and ask why a game can't be simple, uncomplicated fun, Mullins has saddled his creation with an incredibly tedious third act
Pony Island is a unique, weird, impossible-to-descrive little game. It's clever, often surprising and with tons of personality, but its mechanics can prove a bit repetitive.
Review in Italian | Read full review