Friday, March 22, 2013

Color Sheep (iOS) review

Color Sheep is everything an iOS game should be by design. The concept is simple. You have a Sheep, and you have three colors at your disposal. You can change the sheep any one of these colors, along with a bright and dark variation. As wolves approach of a certain color and brightness, you turn the sheep that color, press him - and he shoots a laser that kills that color wolf.

But don't let that fool you, Color Sheep is hard. I mean really really hard. Bone crushingly difficultly hard. What begins simple, with bright red sheep followed by dark blue sheep, soon has you blending colors. At first, the color blending is simple. Red and green makes yellow. Red and blue makes purple. Then you are introduced into ever more complex ideas such as bright red with dark green make orange. Soon it is bright red, dark green and dark blue make pastel pink. And the combinations continue to expand as wolves race towards you. It all sounds simple in theory, but when six different color wolves are running towards you, you'll falter.

Those more privy to the game design will learn that many of the rounds have a motif. When the game introduces you to dark pastel purple and dark pastel blue, the game goes through all the various purple and blue combinations to the level. It is a little touch that inexperienced players won't notice, but as you make through the game, you'll be grateful for these levels.

Each level is broken into several rounds, and each level has a backdrop that suitably fits. One single attack by one wolf results back to level 1. It is frustrating, but it works for this type of game. That said, the game would have benefited from another mode (more on that in a second). Thankfully, many of the wolves drop various power ups, which range from slowing down the wolves, to rooting them in place, but the best of all is the cane, which turns you into a rainbow sheep that shoots a giant laser. You'll panic, you'll sweat, and your sheep breathes relief after a close shave.

The game also has a decent practice mode to help you practice particularly hard color combinations, but it could have been more fleshed out. It suffices, but I think it could have had a bit more. It also would have been great if there were missions or a level map you worked through; alas, this is not the case. A simple arcade mode is basically your only option. It's fine, but the game would have benefited from a bit more depth in gameplay modes. Despite this overlook, I cannot help but emphasize that this is a game all about arcade action - and though it has few modes, the game truly is fantastic.

Color Sheep is not for the faint of heart. If you don't have good reflexes or your not in the mood to test your patience, this may be best avoided. For the rest of us, enjoy what might be one of the new greatest games on iOS and Android.

Overall: A-

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