Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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I'm not very good at Cows vs. Aliens. I'm really not. I will probably never fly high in the Game Center leaderboards, instead languishing in the background. However I still see Cows vs. Aliens being a very regular fixture on my iPhone. It's a fantastic casual game that's bound to enthral both casual and more hardcore gamers alike.
The concept is simple if a little bizarre. Aliens are coming and you've got to herd all your cows into the barn before they're abducted. If an alien sneaks into your barn, it's game over. It's all very cute and charming to look at. You have to push the cows into the barn with your finger while also pushing the aliens away, preferably into the mud nearby. Things start out smoothly and not too fast paced but it's not long before the screen is full of cows and aliens and everything gets a little frantic. A fortunately generous time limit further adds to this craziness.
Fortunately multi touch comes to the rescue here. You can touch the screen up to 5 times at once thus carefully herding cows to safety while pushing aliens away. You can either just tap the screen or you can push the cows with your finger which was often the easiest method. On an iPhone though this does take quite a lot of dexterity. I found I did best with two fingers at once, but then again my dexterity is fairly poor. I've no doubt with some practice that players could manage it, but I suspect the future iPad version offering 11 touches is going to be easier to master.
Despite my fingers and their shortcomings however, Cows vs. Aliens is fun. Achieving the best score is the sole name of the game here with Game Center leaderboards giving you a score to aim for. Achievements might have been nice here but it's not too much of a loss. As the game progresses, new cow types appear such as fast moving bulls which can affect the dynamics of the game. Better scores can be achieved by herding in multiple numbers of cows at once rather than individually leading them in. After a while this becomes essential anyhow.
Cows vs. Aliens does exactly what a casual iPhone game does best. It's very simple to get into but it'll keep you playing for longer than you'd expect of such a basic idea.