The game itself is addicting, yet has too many problems for the good to outweigh the bad.
I played back in ~2019. This review is from that point of view, and is also based on the experience of a friend who still plays.
The economy in-game is an absolute disaster. Horses will sit and rot in sales and never sell unless they're the perfect specimen for breeding (a high rating, the market for horses bred solely for colour is practically non-existent). Stallions, if they aren't in the top 100 producers in the game will never or very rarely be bred out. Mares are just as hard to brood to other users because the market is so saturated with high ratings and more desirable horses. The solution to these problems as of late has been endless waves of money sinks that don't provide much, if any, actual game use. Tack (which is solely cosmetic and shows on horse's images) has seasonal variations, which is a nice touch, but doesn't help the issue of the economy because so few players utilize it.
Many game features (such as being able to pay all of your riders at once, rate more than 3 horses a week, and utilize private sales among other things) are locked behind a paywall. While you can pay for other players to buy these upgrades with virtual currency (Eden Bucks, or Ebs) the currency takes a long time to accumulate because of how difficult earning money is. Showing takes weeks of training for your horses to be competitive and "in the money", and shortly after they need to be trained up again for the next level of showing. You also have to pay for feed for your horses and rider fees so your horses can be trained in the first place. The game is still playable without an upgrade, but is it extremely tedious.
As for the good side, the artwork is gorgeous. Horse images are generated as the foal is born and there are many different variations and shades of each colour. New patterns are added every 4-5 months or so with no set schedule, as is new tack. Updates are frequent, and often improve upon existing features and fix bugs rather than add new features, although new content updates still happen. The suggestions forum has a built-in voting system that is visible to all users, so that members can see how popular their suggestion is with the community. The game also gives out free "rerolls" (an item that lets you reroll the shade of coat/patterns on a horse, they normally cost USD) on its anniversary.
To conclude, HEE has beautiful art and receives updates regularly, but the problems with the economy and a pay-to-play system make it hard to enjoy.
Since August of 2022, when the site owner claimed that free ranging horses as a form of income was against the rules (it never was, and the rules haven't been updated to reflect her lie), the site has lost a lot of the long-standing members. The real problem was, there was too much game currency in the game which players hadn't paid real money to obtain, so Eve (site owner) made it harder to obtain free game currency (and many of us were in chat the day she said there was too much money circulating in the game -- I wish I'd gotten a screengrab when she said it).
Since that time, the game economy has tanked spectacularly. High-rated horses with common colors can be bought for 1000 in game currency, where previously, they would go for 50,000 in game currency, or far more if they had an uncommon combination of genes. When you can buy an EWW-rated horse for 15,000 in game currency, or a WWW-rated stallion for 200,000 when previously it would have gone for anywhere between 500,000 and 4,000,000 (depending on age, color, breed, and stats), you know the game is in serious trouble. The same horses appear in the sales listings month after month, where before, they would have been snapped up in a day or so. Horses with high breeding fees go unbred, because players don't have the game currency to breed to them -- before last August, those would have reached their breeding limits on the first day of rollover (aka the first day of the month).
The chat is cliquish (and the forums are just as bad - the clicques just love to pile on players there), and if you complain about game mechanics in open chat, be prepared to be chastised by regular players as well as by the moderators (and God forbid the site owner is on and watching -- she'll drop a chatban on you in a heartbeat. One player who said in open chat that she would no longer be spending any real money on the game beyond her $10/quarterly membership fee every three months (and she was one of the big spenders, with a large stable) has been chatbanned since that day. Other players were banned from the game outright because they dared to say something Eve didn't like).
Breeding is rigged -- anything after your first three breedings per month, no matter how well rated those horses are, is likely to end up with a a foal with mediocre (or worse) rating. That is, unless you're one of the site owner's buddies, or a player who spends a lot of real money on the site -- buying in-game currency, or buying barns, pastures, and arenas. Keep feeding the site-owner's wallet, and she'll make sure you do well in the game (not a rumor -- this was told to me by one of the moderators). This is well-known to players, but is another forbidden topic that will get you a mute or a chatban, or have your forum post deleted.
Yes, the game is addictive (I've been there for 8 years), but like so many other players, now I only pay for my premium membership, and stopped participating in the special events that cost game currency. I participate only in member-run shows (where entry fees go to other members), and stopped entering the site shows, where entry fees are simply taken out of circulation. The same goes for the auctions -- member-run auctions only, and not the weekly HEE-run auction.
The so-called improvements that have been made in the last year are mostly money sinks -- they're mostly new tack in different colors, which costs in-game money. No thank you.
So if you want to give it a try, be aware that a lot of the welcoming players who would have helped you are gone, or rarely on, or may even have been banned from chat and can't answer you, and that chat is a minefield -- you'll be ignored because you're a newbie, or you'll be chastised by the mods because you dared to say the wrong thing. Your breeding results will be bad unless you spend a lot of real money on the site.
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