The Horse Master’s Lament

Your dream is a dialtone that lasts all night.

This game is not new, not at all (it is from at least 2013). But, for the past few years, I (and much of the Sneer cast and crew) just have to play it once in a while. It inspired me to start learning to make a text adventure, three times, before giving up of course, three times. Shoutout to our pal Veeder, who actually makes them, and very well. We give him a lot of shoutouts.

Horse Master game

This is a game of horse training, drug addiction, and fighting to survive in a cruel and unfair world. Horse Mastery like you’ve never known before. The gameplay is very simple. It’s interactive fiction, but you don’t need to type any commands, you just click options or links within the story. More like a Choose Your Own Adventure than other IF games.

When you start the game you are picking up a horse to your specifications, from the horse factory. There’s a weird salesman and a noisy TV, and you’re prompted to choose from three kinds of horse. Not sure if the word breed is actually appropriate, but it’s what the game uses. Your choices are:

  • Furioso-Hellfist
  • Europa Trotter
  • Carolina Coffinbreath

Horse Master game example

Your horse gets stats for things such as Glamour, Pep, Discretion, Realness, and Uncanny. You have options daily for what to get done, whether it’s injecting your horse with nutrients, “electrostim”ming it, feeding it, watching television, or grooming it. You have three actions per day, so choose wisely. At some point, the game will offer to choose for you, because you’re a chump. This takes away much of the gameplay, but not the excellent story, which is the real highlight. No matter how much story you get through, though, you’ll never figure out what on earth the horse is.

horse master gameplay examplehorse master gameplay example

Days consist of getting ready for the Horse Master Competition. Your actions change your stats and you build them up to get ready. You learn about your horse, the story progresses, sometimes your options for what to do will change. Oh, you name the horse, too.

Horse Master gameplay

Nights, however, are grim.

Horse Master gameplay

 

Can you survive in this sick and ugly world? Can you get through it and become a Horse Master? Maybe! Go ahead and play it. It’s a very good game.

 

There’s nothing left you can do for your horse today.
Hang dexobrimadine* drip and try to sleep

*Schedule II controlled substance. The nightly drip is essentially a job requirement for the mastery of horses in order to react with an almost unconscious speed to their powerful movements and keep yourself alive for continued mastering of horses.

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