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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Star Stable 19 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated a year ago.
The game is set on an enchanted island full of magical horses. Once you have chosen your (female-only) character and customised how you and your horse looks, you can ride, race, and care for your horse. You can pick from a wide range of horses, from beautiful real-life breeds to spectacular magical steeds, each with its own unique look and personality.
To progress you use the map to find quests and meet people. This leads you into daily training challenges where you follow various courses against the clock. Doing this rewards you with experience and currency. You can spend this money (along with currency you buy with real-world money and subscriptions) for clothes and gear in the various shops.
You steadily get to know how to groom, water, and feed your horse as well as meet the computer controlled and player-controlled characters. You can ride together with other players, chat and create Riding Clubs. The range of events available expand as you gain experience in the game. Along with the daily quests you can soon enter races and championships as well as weekly events like fashion shows, treasure hunts, and a Friday night discos.
The focus throughout is on community and interaction. By joining riding clubs you can plan trail rides, picnics and even horse parades. Part of this is chatting to other players:
- Say chat: Players near you see your message.
- Friend chat: Messages sent directly to friend on Star Stable.
- Global chat: Everyone near a Stable or a populated place can see what you say. Only subscribed players can access this.
- Group chat: Message people in your group.
- Club chat: Message people in your Riding Club.
The chat is moderated and bad words are filtered, although this isn't fool proof. Younger players can restrict private interactions to friends only and add other players to their Ignore list on the Friends tab. However you need to contact the game makers if you want to deactivate chat for your child.
The result is an approachable and ever changing online world in which to play. Alongside the game itself is an avid community with forums and websites. The official fiction that goes with the game, The Star Stable Story, is over 250,000 words long.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated 9+ on the Apple App Store for Infrequent/Mild Horror/Fear Themes, Mild Cartoon or Fantasy Violence.
In the settings you can Mute Chat, Mute Group Invitations, Mute Friend Invites and Area Notifications. However, your child can turn these back on whenever they want. There are no parental settings or controls. You can message the developer to disable chat on an account, but at the time of writing the Contact form for the game was not working.
The developer stated that "There are no manual settings for parents so screenshots are not possible in this instance. With Star Stable online parents go through our support to change settings. Parents are able to cut off chat and access to the game for a set amount of time by going through our support channels."
6+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it’s important for parents and guardians to ensure they understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up. Younger players may need some help with the conversations and progressing, but can still enjoy riding around and exploring the world. They also need some assistance with the online aspect of the game, both in terms of settings but also with an adult helping them play and manage interactions.
Account RatingAccount required for online play that has 18 years old as minimum age. Anyone younger than 18-years-old requires a parent or guardian to accept these terms and conditions on their behalf. Terms and conditions require you to be 18 years or older, or have permission from your parent or legal guardian.
When you enter an age under 18 you must enter a parent's email address. The parent is then asked to "Activate your child's Star Stable account to begin their amazing journey in Star Stable, give access to the moderated in-game chat, mobile purchases, options to redeem the codes and offers, and promotional Star Stable emails."
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
Although you can play Star Stable for free up to level 5. To experience all the game’s features most players will spend money to gain currency and items:
- Pay Once: £53/$69.95 includes 1200 Star Coins plus 100 per week.
- 3 Month Subscription: £12.99/3-months includes 300 Star Coins plus 100 per week.
- 1 Month Subscription: £5.29/$7.49/month includes 100 Star Coins plus 100 per week.
In the Star Stable Online app you can make purchases of coin packs rather than subscriptions:
- Starcoin Package Large
- Starcoin package Medium
- Starcoin Package Small
- Medium Star Ride Pack
- Large Star Rider Pack
- Extra Large Star Rider Pack
We spoke to Star Stable about payments and children. "The only subscription-based options are for the Star Rider membership for full access to the game. Additional Star Coins can also be purchased for the game, these payments are always active ("one-off") purchases and not through a subscription service." They went on to say that, "payments are not password-protected, besides the password at login. We don't save full payment details for future purchases, for bank cards you can opt to save certain parts for the future, but not the details in full."
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
Release Date: 01/01/2011, updated in 2022
Out Now: Mac, PC and iOS
Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3
Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds
Components: 3D Third-Person, Cartoon, Day and Night and Open World
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