Developer: Trinket Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Color Sheep has a concept I found unique: players must blend and mix colors to protect their sheep Woolson from wolves from all across the rainbow. Players choose their color from a mixture of up of three hues and two brightnesses, including none whatsoever, the default black. Tapping on Woolson launches a laser at the wolves, taking out all the wolves of the same color as the laser. Once a wolf reaches Woolson, it’s game over. The game features crisp high-res artwork, and an original concept for an endless game. It’s certainly challenging, and requires some thought and mastery of its color mechanic. The problem is that its ingeniousness is trumped by its difficulty.

So, color mixing stars off simple enough. Holding down on a bright or dark modifier and then tapping on a color will load up Woolson with that color. Seems easy enough, right? Well, telling between light and dark shades of a color is a bit challenging in the heat of the moment, but sure. Then, color mixing with both the light and dark variants gets thrown in, by swiping over two colors. The control scheme is actually pretty clever, and reach this point teaches players to activate the light/dark modifiers first instead of colors, but it’s again something that adds a layer of complexity.

Then the need to mix in light shades with dark shades gets added, and that was the moment where I just threw my hands up and said “Nnnnnnnnope!” It’s just all way too much. It’s too difficult to tell which slightly different color is which as the wolves are bearing down on Woolson. For example, there’s one particular shade of blue that’s difficult to tell what it is. Now, the problem is that with only one life, it makes screwing up a dangerous proposition. As well, making a mistake by making the wrong combination doesn’t reset unless one hits the “reset color” button, a necessity due to the need to mix light and dark colors. So I’ve never figured out what that shade of blue is because I keep not hitting it until later in the game.

What it seems like Color Sheep needs to actually focus on is introducing its concept, keeping it simple enough to play, and then building on that. The game just feels like it keeps building and building to a point of complexity that could be interesting but instead is just extremely frustrating. I feel like there’s still promise here, if the game is simplified (the developers have told me they’re working on updating the game) then it could be something really fun. Keep an eye on this.

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