How the hell did Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands end up on my iPod touch? That’s a question only the App Gods can answer. Personally, I’m stumped.
Anyway, I found it in a random folder and figured I’d give it the full review treatment. Why the hell not? Incidentally, I’m aware that I’ve now said “hell” twice in as many paragraphs. Interesting.
I had no clue what to expect from Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands, and spent the first few minutes trying to ascertain whether it was a hidden gem of appy goodness, or typical half-assed freebie nonsense.
Waitaminute… a gander at iTunes suggests that Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands is in fact “TOP 100 in 40 countries” and, more surprisingly, £1.79. That I did not know. Wow.
Right, I should probably explain what the deal is with Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands. Essentially, it’s a top-down puzzler in which you’re tasked with guiding a sheep across 50 levels, avoiding hazards and flicking switches and stuff on your way to the goal. That’s it in a nutshell.
Bizarrely, when you swipe in a particular direction, your sheep cannot stop until he hits an obstacle. There’s no stepping off the gas. In that sense, he’s a wee bit like a lemming, I guess.
The odd mechanics mean that – even in earlier levels – you’ll have to pull off insanely convoluted maneuvers just to get to the adjacent square (because heading there directly means death), such as this one from Level 4: left, up, right, down, left, up and right, at which point a series of little arrows carries you round past the starting point. Cripes.
Speaking of those arrows, they’re a fairly major element in Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands, and help redirect your otherwise-unstoppable sheep as he trundles along.
What else do we have? There are potholes that see your little guy teleport to different areas of the map, and other animals that evidently don’t like sheep.
The maps are fairly big, and things get challenging pretty quick. Observation Mode allows you to scan around and plan how the hell (oops, that’s the third one) you’re going to get to the goal.
Visually, Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands is cartoony, which sits well with the feel of the game. And as you’d expect for £1.79, there’s a suitably quirky soundtrack to compliment the action. The music crashed a couple of times on my iPod touch (2nd gen), but I suspect it wouldn’t struggle quite as much on, say, the iPhone 4. Maybe.
If you persevere with Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands, there’s plenty of action for your buck 79. Some of the levels will have you stumped for a good while, so you’re looking at hours of play.
- 50 levels
- Challenging, but not stupidly so
- Decent soundtrack
- £1.79 = three 59p games (+2p change)
Summary: Sheep Mania: Puzzle Islands would be much easier to recommend if it wasn’t £1.79, which is obviously pretty steep as far as games go. As such, I’d recommend checking out the Free version before shelling out.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Price: £1.79 @ App Store