App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Sheep Up! initially caught my attention because I really liked the oddball art style. What can I say, the cardboard cutout look just does it for me. But it’s not just about the funky visuals. What actually kept my attention was its unorthodox approach to vertical platforming.
Unlike most other jumpers, Sheep Up! is neither 2D nor endless. Levels are themed, self-contained, and gradually introduce new elements such as keys to unlock exits or enemies to dispatch. The gameplay itself is much like a typical jumper, only viewed from above. Players guide the endlessly bouncing sheep toward every floor’s goal via tilting. The higher they go, the smaller the platforms get and the more obstacles they have to contend with. Each collection of floors that comprises a stage allows for a total of four falls, then it’s Game Over.
I know I’ve already implied this, but I’m going to blatantly state it just in case: Sheep Up! looks really cool. The grade school diorama visuals are whimsical and vibrant without being overpowering. Plus it’s just pleasing to look at. I’ve also been suitably impressed by the new perspective on a fairly familiar genre. The change in viewpoint makes it feel almost like a combination of jumper and one of those games that involves tilting a marble through a maze. Only it’s bouncing instead of rolling. And it’s a sheep.
It’s not a perfect game, however. I’ve had a few unfortunate (and unfair) failures brought about during floor transitions thanks to bad sheep placement. It’s only happened a couple of times but it’s still a thing. A more consistent issue I’ve run into is having trouble judging the correct angles and positioning required to take out enemies. Not sure if I can really blame Sheep Up! or lousy virtual depth perception, though.
Sheep Up! was something of a surprise with its subtle but effective combination of genres. It feels slightly off in a couple of places, but it’s still a clever and stylish sheep bouncing good time.