Back in early 2013, a group of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fans were developing a “non-profit, voluntary” fighting game featuring the equine stars from the cartoon television show. However, Hasbro came knocking with a cease-and-desist letter that put an end to the project. Rather than shelving it entirely, the Mane6 team received a lot of support, which included Friendship is Magic‘s creator Lauren Faust. She offered her services to develop a new premise and completely original characters in her iconic style.
After a couple years of world building, the addition of new characters, and meticulous fine-tuning, Mane6 reintroduced the world to its original fan game as Them’s Fightin’ Herds, which went on to garner over half a million dollars from 10,513 backers during its 2015 Indiegogo campaign. It has since been in a private backer’s beta, but was publicly put into early access on Steam as of February 22.
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Them’s Fightin’ Herds boasts a pixelated multiplayer lobby with customizable avatars, including costumes from other fighting series like Blazblue and Guilty Gear if you own specific titles from the franchises in your Steam library. A story mode is currently in development that will have episodes focusing on individual ungulates. The Early Access version of the game provides access to “local and online multiplayer PvP modes, a cooperative PvE mode, as well as a single-player arcade mode and Target challenge mode.” The single-player episodes will be added later on for free for those who purchase the game at its permanent price tag of $14.99.
I don’t mind admitting that I used to be a big fan of Friendship is Magic a few years ago. I’ve fallen off the brony bandwagon, but I still admire the television show for its great writing, humor, and animation. That being said, I remember being so disappointed about Mane6’s fan game being shut down. It’s encouraging to see that the team never gave up on bringing their vision to life with Them’s Fightin’ Herds, which looks promising on its own merit with a robust lore, dynamic score, and meticulous animation.