Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure


Everything is sunshine and puppies here at Rabbitcon, so it’s only appropriate that we cover a game so sweet that it should send you into insulin shock. Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure is an adventure game written, drawn and voice acted by a 5 year old girl.

The hand-drawn crayon animation and graphics supplement the voice acting performance from Sissy, the main designer, and her dad. It gives the entire game the feel of pure play—just a father playing a game of imagination with his daughter. It reminds me of what games are about in the first place, having fun and playing in an imaginary world.

The story involves Sissy’s magical adventure to find the ponycorns, which are like ponies and unicorns combined. Along the way you can find all kinds of characters and even get multiple endings for the characters you interact with. It’s a complete adventure game and the formula works well, even when stripped to its crayon-drawn bones.

If you’ve ever wanted to make a game, it also serves as a good example of what can be done. If a 5-year old girl can do it, anyone can.

Talking Points: How does the saccharine sweetness of the story work with the adventure game formula? I found myself being a little more forgiving of the various adventure game tropes because the story and setting just worked so well. If you didn’t know this was by a 5-year old girl, would you think more or less of it?

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Mostly, this game just makes be want to make something similar with my 4-year old daughter.

As for Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure itself, seeing it as a game perhaps *aimed* at kindergarteners (regardless of who made it), I'd pretty much expect a simple plot, tropes, and happiness. Given it is *made* by a 5-year old just adds to the cuteness overload factor.

Are you sure you didn't drunkenly come up with this game at Rabbitcon?

I played this yesterday and was really hoping it would be this week's fringebusters.

Apart from the fact that it was ridiculously cute and quite funny as a result, I thought it worked great as a commentary on games as well, in a similar sense that "You have to burn the rope" and its ilk did. While those games were intended as deconstructive commentary, illustrating the pervasive simplicity and linearity of game mechanics, SMPA comes from such a genuine, sincere place that says that there might be a five year old in all of us that just really likes those aspects of games.

Reading the commentary the developer wrote about his daughter's enthusiasm was really touching. Props to him for taking her to the conference. Her narration was especially cute.

This is really, really cute.

I especially liked when she said,


"You're a mouse now. How do you like THEM apples?"

EDIT: Oh geez, and this too:


Click on the green ponycorn when you've captured them all - she named it Poo-Pants. Ha ha!!

Seems weird to use spoiler tags in a ten minute game, but just in case...

Pretty cute game


BAM! Magical powers, Awww Yeah!

It's pretty cute. I'd find it insufferable if I hadn't read the article thing first thought. I guess I'm a crotchety cynic.

Also, I am offended by the lemon-bigotry.

I find the main theme: capture the last remaining specimens of a species in jars, for no reason other than the gratification of the young protagonist; to be an interesting allusion to the fact that regardless of how well we preserve the planet for our children, they are pre-destined to further destroy it.

Also I got ALL the ponycorns!

I really enjoyed it, it's like revisiting your kid's childhood. $5 in the kitty for college.

What makes this interesting for me is that it establishes a minimum for what we should expect from an adult designer.

I like this because a 5-year-old girl with a box of crayons built a world that is more visually pleasing than some games with 100+ professional artists. Maybe she could teach the modern games industry about bold, experimental ideas like 'blue' and 'purple'.

Looks like I got a project when my 2 year old grows up a little.

Followup: Show and Tell time!

Cute enough I decided to "donate" a dollar. Which became a $1.05 since donations are in Canadian currency. Just weird, not sure I'll get used to that anytime soon.

[color=white][size=6](am I the only one that mis-read this as CornyPorn?)[/size][/color]

I freakin' love ponycorns!