“ Developer: Chillingo Ltd. „
Games with slightly strange titles or subject matter have always attracted my attention, possibly for all the wrong reasons, but after browsing through the Apple app store, I came across a superbly titled game by the name of Sticky Sheep, which I just couldn't resist, so I bought it and it turned out to be a bit of a hidden gem.
Sticky Sheep is an app for both the iPad and the iPhone, and costs 69p to download from the app store, and it will only take a minute or two to fully download as it is around 18MB in size, and will install onto your iPad in no time, obviously depending on the Internet connection that you have at the time. The game is developed by Chillingo Ltd, (yep never heard of them either!) and was only released on the 23rd February 2012.
As I said this one is rather strange, and the storyline goes that the sheep are being a tad naughty and refusing to be rounded up by Baxter the sheepdog. As a result he decides that drastic action is needed and dons his helmet and prepares to ram the sheep back home. It is then your task to progress through level after level trying to get the sheep into the target area in the number of shots required. There are also a number of gold coins on each level to collect, which will boost your score, and to achieve a star, the level needs to be completed with all coins collected with at least one more shot remaining. Quite easy on some levels, decidedly difficult on others!
Now the game itself is quite hard to describe, and I would say it is somewhat of a cross between crazy golf, pool and one man and his dog! The dog is fired across the screen by using the touch screen interface and using a scrolling motion, pulling him back and releasing. Extra power is achieved by scrolling back further, and touching the screen in the relevant place controls direction. The trick then is to get all of your angles right to bounce off the sheep, and either collects the coins, push the sheep into the coins, and then push the sheep into the collection zone. There are several obstacles that you may face along the way, such as super charged electrical fences which will kill the dog or the sheep, gates which need to be opened or boulders in the way to name a few. Switches are present on some levels, which will do a variety of things such as open a gate, or control the power to an electric fence. Other switches are pressure controlled, and will require a precision shot to get the sheep to stop directly on top of them. It all sounds pretty easy, and it is very straightforward to get into playing, but does get very difficult, and as a result very addictive, as you just can't put the thing down until you have beaten that one extra level!
There is a second type of game mode, called Arcade, on which your task is to try and collect as many sheep as possible within a 60 second time limit. This is unlocked after you progress a certain way into the campaign, but I have to admit I don't find it as entertaining as working through the levels, but will certainly fill a spare few minutes.
Different types of sheep are also introduced as the game progresses. Ewe (see what I did there!!!) start off with the traditional white fluffy variety, but after a while you start to get black sheep. Now these cannot be allowed to die via the electric fences, but you must not push these into the collection zone, as you will forfeit the level if these get in. They do also slightly sinister in my opinion, which is quite amusing. Rams also make an appearance every now and again, and these can be collected, and will need to be to complete a level. They also have the addition of strength and can be used to smash through boulders simply by pushing them toward and then through them. Finally there are radioactive sheep (obviously from the Snowdonia region after Chernobyl!), but I won't spoil the surprise on this one, as they need to be seen to be believed.
The graphics on this game are pretty simple looking, however there lies the beauty of this little game. It's nice and simple and the clear and honest looking graphics add to that feeling. The details on the objects and sheep are quite clear on the large iPad screen and make gameplay very easy indeed.
Sound wise this game is also quite good, with the background music being upbeat and fun, which doesn't get too annoying. The sound effects are also quite good, with pinball style "boings" when you bounce into things, and the effect of an electrocution always brings a smile to my face.
I have to say that in my opinion this game is one of the better ones out there. I wasn't initially expecting to like the game much; I was merely intrigued by the slightly strange concept and thought it would provide a few minutes entertainment of an evening. However I have been pleasantly surprised by the complexity of the levels and the different quirky designs. It isn't boring in any way and it took me over 45 minutes to complete a single level the other day, which just goes to show how complex they are. (Or how rubbish I am!)
So to sum up this game, I would say that for anyone who likes simple looking and easy to play puzzle games would love this particular offering. It's everything I have come to expect from the games available for the iPad, with its cutesy graphics, simple touch screen interface and gameplay, yet more difficult than it first looks, and more addictive than you would first think. The game does have a nice learning curve, with new objects, features or sheep introduced with a very simple level first up to get you used to them, which just adds to the positive gameplay experience. I really like this game, and as I have said with a couple of other iPad games, for the sake of 69p, you really can't go wrong.
Thanks for reading this review and it may also appear on Ciao under my same username.
The sheep have been baaa-d and are refusing to do as Baxter the sheepdogging Beagle tells them - so its time for drastic measures. Don your trusty canine crash helmet and get ready to ram some rams!