The My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series is not only a favorite among kids, teens and old-school pony fans alike, it is also a popular choice for internet memes. And with memes, the all new fan-created characters tend to flourish with great popularity and acceptance with the show’s fans. One game which features characters from such fan-made lore is Minty Fresh Adventure.
This Plot is Magic
Minty Fresh Adventure is a platforming game which features Colgate, a unicorn with an hourglass Cutie Mark. Now, for those of you who have no idea how MLP (My Little Pony) lore works, a Cutie Mark says a lot about a pony's destiny and it provides a visual hint at her special abilities. So, consider that she has an hourglass stamp, it comes as to no surprise that our protagonist is gifted with the power to bend time and space. She thinks this ability is cool and all, but in her heart she wishes that she could become a dentist instead.
To make her wishes come true, she pays Zecora a visit in Everfree Forest. The mystical zebra then mentions that she can brew a magical potion which can undo a Cutie Mark. The only problem is, Colgate must go off on a journey to acquire a certain ingredient, namely, the wisdom tooth of a monstrous beast. And so you guide the dentist-to-be through a perilous forest into a cave filled with skeleton ponies, dragons and cockatrices that can turn her into stone. Thankfully, she gets to arm herself with a gigantic magical tooth brush (aside from her time-bending skills).
Blending Together the Canon and the Fanon
True to the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic franchise, the story is quite charming. Though the lead character is not a staple in the actual animation series, she does have a toy and appears as a background pony named Minuette. Colgate, along with Romana and Minty Fresh, are all fan-given aliases, poking fun at her mane color and hourglass Cutie Mark.
Speaking of which, Doctor Who fans would be pleased to know that Doctor Whooves makes an appearance in this game, offering his wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey advice to our four-legged heroine. Another background pony with a fan-made monicker, Derpy Hooves, also plays a part in Minty Fresh Adventure. Both the gray Pegasus and David Tennant-inspired Earth pony are hidden somewhere in the game and meeting either or both alters the conclusion of Colgate's story. And lastly, the Great and Powerful Trixie also makes an appearance as a shop keeper, offering a variety of magical bits and bobs to make Colgate's Adventure safer, and your life, easier.
Four Hooves in Sync
There a quite a number of control buttons for the game, which may be a tad confusing for very young pony diehards. The arrow keys correspond to Colgate's walk and attack directions. Jumping is done by pressing the Z or the C keys, and attack is executed by the X button. By combining the Up arrow and X keys, our aspiring dentist twirls her giant brush in
place to sweep pesky enemies coming too close. By performing a jump attack, the giant brush darts to the front; this move is very useful during the first boss battle. Pressing the left or right directional key twice and holding the X button while you have some charge in your magic bar will send the tooth brush flying like a projectile. You may attack while Colgate is kneeling down too; just make sure that the enemies are not tall enough to hit you in case they evade your swipes.
During your adventure, you may come across platforms which are impossible to reach, or perhaps foes that are many in number or are simply too tough to beat. In these cases, the ability that comes with Colgate's hourglass Cutie Mark may just come in handy. Charging up by pressing Z and X at the same time while you have a significant level of juice on your magic bar will unleash the time freeze ability. This leaves all your foes in stasis, gives you higher jumps, makes movement faster –basically, unleashing this skill lets you hurry through the stage without any problems. It is quite handy, but it does have a time limit. As you may have guessed, the magic bar drains while this is activated and will cease its effects once the meter goes empty.
Platforming still plays a big role in the game. You will also have to adjust your jumps accordingly while inside the caves --otherwise, Colgate may just fall to her demise. Or, at the very least, bring you to the continue screen.
Compared to most casual platform games out there, Minty Fresh Adventure has an extensive variety of attacks. It is, or at least it should be, a definite plus -if it were executed perfectly. Sadly, the game fails a bit with this. At times, the controls can get frustrating for turning a particularly easy task into a hard-to-complete one. The toothbrush projectile in particular can be tricky to execute and becomes a big issue during the first boss battle. The ability to choose a button layout, map controls, or even to just confine jumping to one button and assigning special attacks to single keys may have helped resolve the issue. Thankfully, her other attacks work properly, despite the occasional delays that occur when the game is lagging.
Other Brony Problems
There are other perils aside from monsters who reside in the forest and caves. The blue magical plant, Poison Joke, can be found scattered about in the first level. When walked on, this turns Colgate into a helpless tube of toothpaste which can jump and walk but cannot use the giant brush to attack foes. Your only options when afflicted with this pony sickness are: purchase a restorative milk consumable item from Trixie, head to Zecora's, talk to Doctor Whooves or Derpy, or just restart the level. Otherwise, you can attempt to last for as long as you can, beating enemies by jumping off them.
What platform game would Minty Fresh Adventure be if you did not have a limited amount of lives? You get three hearts, but you also get unlimited continues. Since there are no saves allowed, you are only given checkpoints whenever you get to another area or start a boss battle. Do not worry if you come across items of interest or interact with NPCs though, you get to keep your progress regardless what happens. So there is no need to worry if you run out of hearts, or if you had to use a continue after you died.
While you do not lose story progress whenever you retry a level, you do lose points. That being said, it is advisable to go back and buy items from Trixie as soon as you have saved up enough. We suggest that you do this unless you are aiming to finish the game without buffs or bonuses.
Pretty as a Pony
The art style of Minty Fresh Adventure is not perfect by any means, but still does plenty of justice to the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. The graphics for the cut scenes are nicely done, with barely noticeable rough lines, and the sprite animations are superb. The user interface could use some polish in terms of text alignment (but that is just us being nitpicky). In the end, Minty Fresh is a visually endearing game.
In terms of storyline, long time pony fans will surely appreciate the internet meme references and clever use of references to series lore. Even Zecora's rhyming dialogue is composed well enough that you may find yourself thinking that this was an official game.
Overall, this fun pony adventure by Dragon Mango is truly a noteworthy and a refreshing tribute (mind the pun!) to the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic series. It is most definitely a platform game worth spending time to complete, although with its awkward controls it may be a tad frustrating for younger fans of the franchise. On the other hand, anyone who is inexperienced in terms of the platformer genre but does not mind spending time grinding may have an easier trek through the baddie infested stages. If you happen to be one such player, this title is worth checking out.
With its entertaining story, hilarious characters, and constantly updated game, Pony fans old and new will surely appreciate the effort behind this epic adventure on the sort of imaginative level found in other diverse pony web games like Pony Creator. Minty Fresh Adventure is satisfying to complete and may just leave pony fans with a newfound appreciation for dental hygiene.