148Apps Network Post

Developer: Chillingo

Price: $.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Combining elements of billiards, pinball and mini-golf, Sticky Sheep adds a nice twist to the traditional physics-based puzzler. It’s simple and cute enough for the whole family, but mixes the gameplay elements in a way that will also appeal to experieced players.

Baxter is a beagle not a sheepdog, but he’s been recruited to shepherd some very errant sheep home. By home I mean targets on a playing field with Baxter acting as the projectile to knock the woolly miscreants into place.

Using a familiar control system, players adjust the force and trajectory of Snoopy’s sheep-herding cousin with a finger pull, hoping for the exact angle to bring the baaad posse to safety. The targets are sticky – hence the name – and very forgiving counting close calls as wins.

Like most physics puzzlers Sticky Sheep is broken into several environments from verdant to arid, each with levels that need to be unlocked in order.

The levels have more than sheep and Baxter, they have obstacles that range from very bouncy pinball bumpers to electrified fences, to switches that need to be hit to open gates. There are coins on each level for collecting. Rams are friends who can break boulders and other immovables, and be sure to avoid the black sheep; apparently they haven’t any wool.

Players have a limited number of tries and using fewer than allotted or landing close to the center of the targets earn extra points and bronze, silver or gold medals. After a bit of success a new mode, Arcade, unlocks. The game is essentially the same, but players are up against the clock. Successful combos add to the time limit and the mode offers a nice break from the level-locked puzzle formula.

Sticky Sheep is a family-friendly game with cute, if not especially remarkable, graphics and the difficulty level isn’t too high. For the physics puzzle addict, however, the interesting interplay between the putt-putt, pool, and pinball make this game, if not addictive, certainly habit forming.

There are a couple of trouble spots, one in the mechanics the other in design. The screen real estate is not used to maximum advantage. Most levels have a lot of empty space around the action. And, while the physics feel true, Baxter tends to roll longer than seems natural or logical knocking into perfectly placed sheep several seconds after a runaway ewe and Baxter appear to have come to a halt.

Sticky Sheep has Crystal Network and Game Center integration as well as Facebook posting for the serious braggart. There is a lot of replay value, not just in the two modes, but also in the gameplay itself. It’s one of those “just one more try” titles worth grabbing from the App Store.

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