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Steal the Emperor's Peaches in Monkey King Escape. Yep, Peaches

Posted by Jessica Fisher on February 17th, 2015
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Ubisoft's new runner, Monkey King Escape, tells the story of the Monkey King as he races to escape the Jade Emperor's armies. The story is based on the classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West.

You'll be flying, dashing, and jumping your way through the mythical world of Chinese mythology. You can also connect with your friends online to compare scores and see who is the most agile Monkey King of them all. In celebration of the Chinese New Year, there will be two special in-game powers for a limited time. You'll be able to decrease your speed by changing into a sheep or increase your running distance by performing the Lion dance.

You can download Monkey King Escape for free on the App Store now.

Divide By Sheep, Plus Help from tinyBuild, Equals App Store Release Soon

Posted by Ellis Spice on February 17th, 2015

tinyBuild Games has announced that they are set to help bring the darkly comedic math puzzle game Divide By Sheep, which is being developed by Russian/Ukrainian studio Bread Team, to the App Store.

While there are lifeboats ready to carry the sheep away to safety, there's limited space on board - with hungry wolves and lasers adding to the player's problems - meaning care will be needed to ensure that they don't subtract from the woolly population too much. Among the hundred levels available there's also the Dark World, where multiplying the numbers on the Grim Reaper's death boat is the aim.

Divide By Sheep will be available on the App Store on a date soon to be calculated.

Flockers Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on January 15th, 2015
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: NOT QUITE BAAA-RILLIANT
Think Lemmings and you're not far off when it comes to Flockers.
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Hay Ewe Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on October 20th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: SAVE YOUR SHEEPLE
Pave the way for your flock in this line drawing puzzle game from the creators of Worms.
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Messy Time - Sky Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jordan Minor on April 10th, 2014
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: SHEEP IN THE BIG CITY
Messy Time- Sky looks fantastic, but that's really all it has going for it.
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Aliens vs Sheep: The Story Behind TowerMadness 2

Posted by Jennifer Allen on January 27th, 2014

Following the surprise release of TowerMadness 2 last week we thought it was the ideal time to find out more about Limbic Software's latest title, learn about some of the design process behind it, and discover just how it came to be. What better font of knowledge than that of Co-Founder and CEO, Arash Kesmirian? We caught up with him to find the answers to our questions and more.

148Apps: What made you decide to release a whole new game rather than update the original TowerMadness?
Arash Keshmirian (AK): We’ve been building on the original TowerMadness for nearly five years now; it went from having only four simple maps to over a hundred. There were 20 updates, and tons of towers, enemies, environments, and features added. I think this was a big part of why that game was a success – we kept it alive, listened to fans, and added more and more. At some point though, we had to draw the line. We wanted to do significant new things and had to completely overhaul the platform in order to evolve to the next step. A revolutionary new 3D engine, brand new art, sound; I don’t really think anything carried over from the original. Oh, just two things – the muzzle flashes and the lock icons are the same. They were too perfect to toss out!

Another big departure from the original was our emphasis on adding characters to the game. So far there are two – Bo, a brave ram that defends your sheep against the first intruders into the flock and helps beginning players, and Xen, an old, wise, friendly alien that runs the tower laboratory to help you defeat the evil aliens. His motivations are unclear. We spent a lot of time making them come to life with dialogue and sophisticated animation. Our hope is to connect players with the game’s world in a deeper way than before, and we added some little surprises to this effect too, like funny descriptions for all the alien types:

148Apps: It's been 3 and a half years since the first title was released, how come there was such a significant gap between the releases?
AK: Well, because of the constant updates to TowerMadness 1 we didn’t really feel like there was a “gap” for players. But in terms of releases, we had to go explore other ideas and grow creatively before we were ready to come back to TowerMadness and make a proper sequel. In the years that went by, we developed and released Nuts! and Zombie Gunship. We’ve been fortunate to see them grow into massive franchises of their own, and each appeals to a different group of players with different expectations from games.

We did have a few “false starts” with TowerMadness 2, though. We’ve gone through a fair number of rejected design doc ideas that we ultimately decided would be too different, hard to play, or just not that fun. It took a long time to find a vision that worked. About nine months ago we cracked it, and set to work building TowerMadness 2.

148Apps: How has the evolution of iOS since the first game changed the development of TowerMadness 2?
AK: The Apple Xcode tools we use to develop our games have been consistently improving over the years – but specifically for iOS, we’ve enjoyed leveraging a lot of new iOS features in TowerMadness 2. For one, we’re making full use of iCloud to let players carry their progress with them from device to device, and ensure nothing is ever lost. Since people tend to invest a lot of time in TowerMadness, this was really important to us. A bit more on the technical side, we’re leveraging a lot of new “under-the-hood” iOS features to provide the graphics and animation you see in the game.

Tower defense games in general are a challenge performance-wise because you have a lot of characters on screen that need to be drawn, animated, and run AI. Our custom engine leverages a lot of iOS optimizations to make this fast and keep framerates solidly at 60fps on modern devices. It screams on A7. As far as experimental features go, I really like playing on the TV with Apple TV and Airplay, so we added iOS controller integration to the game. It seems a bit odd for a tower defense to do this, since it’s quite well-suited to touch, but I think it’s a neat experience on a big screen with a controller and a few friends watching.

148Apps: TowerMadness 2 has been a surprise release on the App Store. Why the secrecy rather than building up hype beforehand?
AK: Limbic has always been about experimenting. Back in 2009 we were one of the first free apps on the App Store with TowerMadness Zero, and we’ve innovated in other areas by doing things like split-screen multiplayer, Airplay, and other “tests” well ahead of the curve. Our marketing is no different – we wanted to see what would happen if we dazzled our fans with the release they’d been hoping for, without a tortuous tease beforehand. We’re in an age of game development now where the entire process is laid out for fans, from concept to alpha to beta to release, and we wanted to try the polar opposite for a change. When I was a kid I remember one day coming home from school and finding a brand new SNES game lying on my bed, a totally unexpected gift from my parents. Those were the best kinds of surprises, and I wanted our fans to experience that kind of joy too.

148Apps: Tower Defense games run the risk of being samey, what makes TowerMadness 2 stand out from its predecessor?
AK: There are a few things that make TowerMadness and TowerMadness 2 unique. The first major aspect is the free-grid style of tower defense gameplay, which really opens the game up to strategic placement of towers and sophisticated tactics. We combine this with a vast array of tower types and alien types, making each level and each round really different in terms of how the waves play out. We’ve added some interesting gameplay mechanics when it comes to environments, with towers overheating and freezing in different climates. I hope to expand on that in future versions.

Another core aspect of the original TowerMadness was the competitive leaderboards. In TowerMadness 2, we’ve streamlined the score dynamic into a simple level time. If players can send and defeat waves more quickly, they’ll finish the level with a shorter time. We use Game Center challenges to facilitate grudge matches, and this has been a big hit with our team internally.

148Apps: How did the idea of using sheep in both games come about?
AK: When Volker, Iman, and I created the first TowerMadness, we originally had concepted it as being cows. I have some limited 3dsmax skills [and] was responsible for all of that game's artwork. The problem was, I had no idea how to make cute-looking cows. I did have some theories about making cute sheep, though. So I built this guy, and he stuck:

Today, with the talents of our Art Director, Lee, we have a much nicer-looking flock...

Plus, I think it makes a much better story that the aliens are trying to abduct the sheep to knit their emperor a sweater (it was a scarf in TM1). What would they do with a cow? Milk? Steaks? The aliens don’t have mouths, and invade completely unarmed... For all we know, they might be vegetarian pacifists!

148Apps: Thanks for your help and time in answering these questions
AK: Thanks for having me. We’re really excited to finally get this out in the hands of players, and we can’t wait to see how the game grows as it evolves.

TowerMadness 2 is out now, and on sale at $2.99 (usually priced at $4.99). The original TowerMadness is also available for those keen to catch up on past hits.

Sheep Shack Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By David Rabinowitz on June 19th, 2013
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: COUNTING SHEEP
Sheep Shack is an arcade game with a strange concept that blends Whack-A-Mole with elements from games like Fruit Ninja.
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Shaun the Sheep - Fleece Lightning Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on April 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SHEAR RACING
Britain's stop-motion ovis aries goes for the gold in this unorthodox barnyard racer.
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NomNom Combo Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on February 27th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: PREDATOR AND PREY
Match cute predators with their even cuter prey and play out the cycle of life in this matching puzzle game.
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Get The Flock Out Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Thomas on October 24th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: A LITTLE WOOLY
The vikings are coming! Guide the flock to safety with the help of your trusty dog, but be warned; these sheep have a mind of their own.
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Woolcraft Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on July 25th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WOOLLY GOOD TIME
Players must outwit the terrain and herd their flocks in this sweet puzzler.
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Save Our Sheep Review

By Jason Wadsworth on July 18th, 2011
Gather the flock and don't let the wolves get them.
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Leap Sheep! HD Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Fanguy on June 20th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FOUR-H FUN
Leap Sheep! HD for the iPhone/iPad is a cute, simple game requiring players tap an oncoming herd of never-ending sheep in succession to successfully leap/complete a trick over a virtual, freedom fence located at the opposite side of the screen. Unfortunat
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Zombies vs. Sheep

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Richard Martin on August 5th, 2009
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: ONE TRICK SHEEP
Zombies vs. Sheep is a one trick pony, but it's a trick that's really fun for a buck, and will keep you coming back for more. You're a gun wielding sheep shooting zombies. Tell me you're not interested.
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