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reprinted from Superkids Educational Software Review (, posted Nov. 1, 1998
Educational Value – 3.8
Kid Appeal – 4.5
Ease of Use – 5.0

If there is a horse and pony lover in your household, this lovely little program will be sure to please. It not only invites users to select a favorite pony to groom, decorate and name, but it also provides a 'gallery' for displaying artistic creations and penning original stories about the beloved creatures.

Paint 'n Play Pony is hosted by Penelope the Pig, a virtual friend who gleefully guides the user through the many sections included in the program. Horses graze on a hillside main screen from which a number of activities can be accessed. Double-clicking on one of the horses, which range in breed, size and color, results in a full screen shot of that horse, with icons representing decorating options floating about, ready to be manipulated. Endless creative possibilities exist, from hair care options which allow the user to brush, color, cut or re-grow the pony's hair, or add braids, ribbons or glitter. That accomplished, accessories can be added including hats, flower garlands, blankets or leg warmers. Next a voice is added to the proud animal, who can neigh, nicker, snort, whinny or squeal. A name must be chosen, a background added, friends inserted into me picture, and so on. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

At this point the cherished creation is added to the gallery, from which it can be printed, or exported to other programs. A journal option not only offers Penelope's horse stories to read and enjoy, but rovides a haven for personalized journalistic attempts, complete with starter ideas to spark the child's literary flame.

Additional apportunity to groom and care for the 'virtual' pony is provided in the stable, where colts, yearlings and grown horses must be fed, brushed and shampooed. Older horses love to have their muscles rubbed with liniment, their hooves oiled and their legs re-bandaged.

Horse care is demanding business, but rewards await in the form of printable ribbons and certificates. Fun facts about ponies and horses are also included in this versatile program, as are profiles of famous horses throughout history.

Educational Value Not only does Paint 'n Play Pony provide good solid experience with computer familiarity and use, but it includes stories and writing opportunities to encourage the young author. A majestic horse creation could just provide the inspiration needed for a literary masterpiece.

Kid Appeal SuperKids' kid testers loved this program. "It's the kind of program a girl can spend endless hours with on a solitary rainy day," was one parent reviewer's comment. Girls were hear oohing and aahing abou ;mtht eponies and horses and especially like making foals for the mares. "My daughter fantasizes about owning a pony," said a pleased mother. "This program makes a satisfying substitute."

Ease of Use/Install Installation and navigation of Paint 'n Play Pony are simple and trouble-free.

Best for.../Bottom-Line With its horse and pony theme, and coloring, decorating, and creative writing activities, this program is a natural winner for young girls.

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