Phar Lap: Horse Racing Challenge Review

phar lap horse racing challenge
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One of my all time favourite horse games was Champion Jockey I had on Xbox 360. Since upgrading to the Xbox One I can’t play this anywhere, so wanted to find something similar to play. Unfortunately there isn’t much choice at all when it comes to horse games so I was quite excited when I first saw this game last year.

Bad Reviews

When I tried looking into this game last year I decided not to buy it with so many bad reviews out there. People were not rating the game at all and said it was very similar to the FREE mobile version on the app store. So I downloaded the mobile version instead and got my fix for a few days.

Long Easter Weekend

However, being on lockdown I have sometimes struggled finding things to keep me entertained. So I started looking into the game again and with it only being Β£20 on Microsoft store, I thought I would just buy it and see what I thought. Maybe i just had really low expectations, but I loved it!

Simple Game Play

The game play is straightforward and perhaps a repetitive. You inherit a racing yard but in order to unlock better horses and facilities you need to level up. Each new level you are given missions where you need to complete them to level up. These missions are usually racing over certain distances, breeding horses with specific qualities and upgrading buildings.

The number of races available are slightly limited. You unlock new racetracks as you level up and each track has 4 race levels you unlock by coming a certain place a number of times. So while the story might be slightly basic, I think the game still works well.

Race Quality

The racing controls are simpler than most games I have played, which I initially thought would make the racing easy and boring. But I actually think the racing works well. If your horse isn’t the best in the field, you have to ride the race perfectly to stand a chance of placing. And sometimes even if you are the best horse in the field, a small mistake can mean you don’t win. So I think it works well.

Extra Features

As you progress through the story you unlock features like being able to bet on the races or hire a jockey to ride in the race so you can watch from the sidelines.

Other Game Modes

Betting Party

A great option for anyone missing a day at the horses, get together with some friends and have a flutter on the horses. Each player starts with the same amount of money and you choose what racetrack and a number of races from 1-8. Before each race you get the chance to study the form before placing your bet and watching the race. The player with the most money at the end is the winner.

Online Racing

Join other players online in a series of races. At the start of each race choose what horse you want to ride and then go for the win. you get points for where you place in the race and the player with the most points at the end of the series of races is the winner.

Horse Creator

Have an all time favourite racehorse? Want to turn your horse into a racehorse? Well in horse creator you can do just that. Choose from the coat colour options plus different markings before choosing their skill level. Once you have created your horse you can make it available to buy from the store in story mode. But you can’t breed from the horse.

Not only that, but you can also download horses other people have created and make them available to buy in story mode. So you can fill your stable with champions.

Overall Verdict

I really like this game and I think it is worth the money I paid for it. But the hard copies I have seen have been a lot more expensive and I’m not sure there is enough content to make the game worth Β£30+. I think you could quite easily complete the game over a weekend if you really went for it and I haven’t found a way to be able to restart story mode. But I think the other game modes make up for this.

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