Review: Renegade Games – My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria (Deck-Building Game)

My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria
My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria is a deck-building game published by Renegade Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

Learn more about My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria here
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My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria is a cooperative deck-building game wrapped around the story themes found in the newer My Little Pony cartoon series. The game’s concept of being a cooperative game matches perfectly with the cartoon as major accomplishments are always achieved when friends are involved and working together. As a father of 7 kids with 4 daughters 13 and under (as of the writing of this review), I’ve seen my fair share of My Little Pony cartoons and am not going to lie that the setting is quite rich and detailed with a lot of fun and empowering concepts.

As a father with young daughters, finding games to play can sometimes be challenging. We often end up playing simple games that only take 15 minutes; for longer games, they tend to work better when there’s some type of teamwork involved (either dividing up into teams or a bit of “assistance” from Mom or Dad). However, one of my favorite things to play, and what my daughters seem to love, is the storytelling RPG we wrote – Little Heroes (authored by me but co-developed by two of my daughters). My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria reminds me a lot of the game experience we have with Little Heroes – it’s fun, it’s interactive, it’s cooperative, but more importantly it’s a combination of luck and skill whereas many other games we play focus heavily on one or the other.

I have played Dominion before and loved it. I love the deck-building game mechanic, but pitting all players versus each other does not work well when playing with my daughters (or really a lot of kids to be honest). In fact, I would dare to say that the deck-building design is one of my favorite game mechanics as it has the ability to create a new experience every single time you play the game. It also gives you the opportunity to find what works, what doesn’t, what combinations are optimal, and what makes the game more fun. It also leaves the world open for endless expansions and continued learning as my daughters get better and better at playing the game.

But enough of those fiddly bits, let’s talk more about the crunchy bits! My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria is a scalable game from 1-4 players; yep, you can even solo this! The game’s mechanics are designed from the ground-up for scalability, but I’m not 100% sure why they stopped at 4. I have a feeling they will release an expansion some day that ups the game to 5 or 6 players. During a bit of gameplay, I also realized how the difficulty of the game progresses from beginning to end. When you start your deck, you hardly have anything that will allow you to overcome the challenges faced to move on to the next stage. As your deck builds, obviously that gets easier and easier, but the challenges get more and more difficult to overcome, forcing you to build a better and better deck as the game goes along. In other words, the game’s mechanics are well-refined and well-developed to give you a fun and challenging experience while not burying you in a steep learning curve. You literally learn as you go and the better you get (as a team), the more challenges you can introduce. It’s almost like My Little Pony: Adventures in Equestria is a gateway drug to other, more challenging or complex games! I absolutely love it!!

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