This cut back 2016 adventure game from Daniel Mullins Games features a host of genres, ranging from shoot ’em up to endless runner to horror game hoo-ha.
It’s a creative little indie gem, but also a popular one that’s considered something of a classic in the world of indie titles. Let’s have a gander!
Enjoy Playing Pony Island… Or Else!
We really can’t think of any other game like this one. Perhaps Amanita Design’s Happy Game (2021) matches its sense of twee nightmare fuel.
Or maybe Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, a game designed to be infuriating.
So, yes, Pony Island is a fun and innovative title packed with fourth wall breaking moments and one angry game developer unimpressed with your antics.
There’s lots of comical violence in there, driven along by the increasingly nasty tone of the game getting angry with your sense of gaming disappointment.
At first, the game is “broken” and requires you to take various steps to fix it before getting to an Atari styled jumping game.
Then you start out playing Pony Island, which is a bare bones endless runner.
After you crash the title, the game’s developer begins messaging you and you have to explore the internal program to try and escape the confines of this nightmare. Here’s the opening segment.
As you play the game, Pony Island cuts to an operating system where you converse with someone else trapped in the system.
This prompts you to try and escape the title, all while completing “new and improved” versions of the Pony Island endless runner hastily cobbled together by the furious game developer.
It feels like a satirical mockery of entitled gamers whining about how they’re not happy with a game, to which developers usually have to respond politely to various death threats and what have you.
Except this time, the developer puts the gamer through a tortuous nightmare to pay for their entitled temper tantrums.
So, yes, Pony Island is a very odd game.
But in a good way, as its clever use of game-within-a-game nods and eerie visuals adventuring make it kind of unlike anything else.
A psychological horror point and click is how we’d sum it up. And a short, but very entertaining, little romp it is too.
You can get it on Steam and, well, embrace yourself for the onslaught. Because this game hates you!