Destiny? Who needs it! Colgate's Cutie Mark might signify powers over time and space, but all the perky blue pony really wants is to be... a dentist. Which means that hourglass has got to go. Fortunately, everyone's favourite rhyming enchantress Zecora has a solution; if Colgate can track down the ingredients for a potion, she'll be able to "undo" her Cutie Mark. The problem? It's located deeper inside the dangerous Everfree Forest... and inside the mouth of an enormous monster! Colgate does what any good unicorn dedicated to good hygiene would do; she sets out with her enormous toothbrush (don't ask questions) for a platform adventure... Mark Sprague's Minty Fresh Adventure, that is!
Use the left and right [arrow] keys to move around, and the [Z] button to jump, while [X] attacks with Colgate's toothbrush, as well as interacts with nearby characters. To perform a long range attack if Colgate has enough magic in her blue bar, double-tap the left or right [arrow] key and quickly press [X] to hurl your toothbrush, sending it spinning out in front of you Darth Maul style to take out any enemies. When her magic bar is full, press and hold [X] and [C] at the same time until she begins flashing to "Clock Up", unleashing a spell that temporarily freezes all enemies as well as allows you to move even faster. Colgate can also draw a little inspiration from a certain Italian plumber and take out foes by jumping on top of them. Beating baddies adds to your high score, which is spent at a shop run by a certain someone, where you can pick up items to improve your abilities or provide... other effects. You can move back and forth between areas to build up points if you need to. If Colgate takes three hits, she'll have to start over from the start of the area you just entered, so make sure to chow down on any apples you find to replenish health. Oh, and you might want to steer clear of any Poison Joke flower you come across. And cockatrices. And timberwolves. And... well, let's just say we hope you're not just putting on a show when it comes to collecting that ingredient, my little pony.
Analysis: Packed with references, surprises, and humour galore, Minty Fresh Adventure is not only a great silly homage to the source material, but a vibrant and enjoyable game in its own right as well. Mark Sprague reaches impressive new heights in his Pony Platforming Project with this installment, which is impressively animated and considerably more complex than the first few trials. While players who have "joined the herd" will probably get the most out of it by recognising certain characters and references, Minty Fresh Adventure is fun and bright enough to be enjoyed by anyone looking for something light and silly. With multiple endings and secrets to uncover, it's a simple to play but surprisingly robust little game that can keep you occupied longer than you might think at first encounter.
The controls, unfortunately, are a little awkward at times; triggering Colgate's long-range attack can sometimes be accidental, or difficult to pull off in a pinch, making you wish it were bound to a separate key. It's also disappointing that for a pony, she's not particularly fleet of hoof, and as such the platforming and combat in general doesn't feel as smooth or natural as it might otherwise be. Fortunately, the developer is still working on this game as of this writing, and you can look forward to even more tweaks (and some new surprises) in the next big update. As it stands, Minty Fresh Adventure is still an extremely impressive example of fan-born dedication, and speaks very well indeed for Mark's future prospects as a developer. So come on... who needs semi-phenomenal, nearly cosmic powers over time itself when you can satisfy Equestria's need for fresh breath and shiny teeth?
[Thanks to an anonymous reader for sending this one in, and to Mark Sprague for allowing us to host it!]