Posted by J. Bradshaw on Apr 26, 2012

Shaun the Sheep: Fleece Lightning Review

Shaun the Sheep: Fleece Lightning
Publisher: Chillingo
DeveloperGreen Ant Games
Platform(s): iPhone (Reviewed), iPad
Release DateApril 19, 2012
Price$0.99 - Available Here

Overview
Chillingo is known for publishing a great many quality games on mobile platforms.  In this review, we’ll be discussing one of their newest games – Shaun the Sheep: Fleece Lightning.  Fans of Aardman Animations (the guys behind Chicken Run) are likely already familiar with this wooly, adorable beast. Shaun is the main character in a British stop-motion animated children’s television series.  Although he has appeared in a few other apps, Fleece Lightning is probably the best one to date.  Why?  Read on to find out.

Gameplay
Shaun the Sheep is naturally located at a farm.  To pass the time, he races pigs on wild obstacle courses. Apparently, someone or something likes to set up these obstacle courses, as Shaun nor the pigs could do it. They don’t have thumbs.  But I digress.

Set in a top down view, you control Shaun very easily with two arrows in the bottom of the screen as he races up to four pigs to win  the first prize. Obstacles in the game include barns, barrels, mud puddles and more.  If you make it through the gate at the end first, everyone else will smash into the now closed gate.  However, if you lose, you willl smash into the gate, and your competing porky friends will do a jig and laugh, which is infuriating!  Although you are scored on time, placement is the key to getting the most rewards.  For example, if you get second place, you will get 2 apples as an award, while 3rd place only gets you one apple.  Time did not seem to factor in that much as far as getting apples was concerned.

Curiously, no matter what placement and time you achieve, unless its last place, the game will proudly display a picture of a sheep with a Gold 1st Place medal upon his chest, even if you come in second or third.  This is a minor inconsistency, but still one worth nothing.

Fleece Lightning includes a level editor.  Although this is fun to mess around with, it is very data intensive and once caused the game to crash.  In addition, it is fairly simplistic, and the UI is pretty awful.  However, it does add a unique element to this game, in addition to a couple more hours of enjoyment.  They could have expanded it a lot, and made it similar to Little Big Planet, but for $0.99 what do you expect?

Audio and Visuals
The soundtrack in the game is a typical barnyard jig.  Personally, I liked it and felt it made the atmosphere in the game better, but your mileage may vary.  I could easily see how the repeating audio could annoy someone.

Graphically, the game could use some slight improvement.  Although the visuals match the typical style of Aardman, they are a little bit bland.  They don’t come close to being rated as some of the best on the App Store.  On the other hand, they are definitely not the worst, and the attention to detail in some areas of the game, like trees and fauna, is astounding.

Overall
All in all, Shaun the Sheep: Fleece Lightning is a fun game. The gameplay is spot on. The animations are hilarious, and I laughed quite a few times while playing it.  Nevertheless, there are some minor problems with the game.  For one, it crashed on me twice.  Second, the level editor is not nearly as good as it should be.  Some of the later levels can be extremely tough, especially when you are dealing with the good, but not great, controls.

In conclusion, I really enjoyed the game and I immensely appreciate the humor.  If you like Aardman, you will no doubt love this game.  Although there some irritations with it, I would heartily recommend you try it.

8-5-capsules-out-of-10

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