I’m beginning to think developers are purposely making the tough puzzle games cute. They do it to lull us into a false sense of security because of course a cute looking puzzle game is going to be easy. It has to be for the kids that will invariably be drawn to it, right? I can’t think of a more charming premise than a disgruntled sheepdog that dons a motorcycle helmet and goes all Evil Knievel to get the sheep he’s supposed to be rounding up to respect him. Yet some of these levels can be quite maddening.
In Sticky Sheep, you control the poor sheepdog that gets no respect, and it’s your job to get all of the sheep to one of the targets that exist on each level. You’ll do this by flinging yourself into them and causing them to roll to their destination. Fortunately these sheep bounce pretty well, and what ends up happening is that you turn the corrals into outdoor pinball machines. Of course it doesn’t hurt that some of the many items that might litter a level are bumpers. In addition to that you might have switches to flip, gates to open or simply dodge, rocks to maneuver around and a variety of other things.
Ultimately each sheep must come to a stop so that at least part of it is touching a target. Since this is a physics game it’s quite possible to knock the sheep away from the target at the last moment with another sheep or even yourself in a bad ricochet moment. Other than that, your main factor for failure that exists on every level is that you only have a certain number of moves that can be made. Additional obstacles include things like electrified fences and most of the objects listed in the previous paragraph. Thankfully you at least don’t have to fight with a ticking clock. Each level has coins to collect, and you must get all of them to earn a gold star. You only have to earn a star of some color to unlock a new level, and there will always be three levels in a world unlocked at any given time.
You control the dog by tapping on him and then dragging in the opposite direction you want him to go. The farther you drag the more power he’ll have when you let go. Sometimes this can be a problem if the direction you want to drag puts your finger too close to the edge of the screen, but all that does is cancel your move and you start over again. You can zoom in and out by pinching which is nice and easy, but it would be great if the game would stay zoomed out until you explicitly zoom in again.
As I mentioned before, the graphics are cute. Everything is colorful and well animated where appropriate. There are nice little touches like the sheep eating when they get bored or sparks flying from the electrified fences. The sound effects do a great job of complimenting what’s on screen. There are nice background noises that give the world some life beyond what’s immediately happening as well. Interestingly enough, you never hear from the dog even though the sheep are more than happy to bleat out every once in a while. The one thing sadly missing from this whole affair is any sort of background music.
There’s no question that a plethora of puzzle games exist on the App Store, and many of them are quite good. My take on the situation is that there’s always time for one more puzzle game as long as it’s fun and challenging, and Sticky Sheep certainly meets that criteria. The first few levels are a bit slow, but once you get out of the training levels you’re sure to get hooked on the adventures of a pinballing sheepdog.
|Title:||Sticky Sheep™||Developer:||Chillingo Ltd|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||3.0|