In a unique “thread” of mobile puzzle games, Happy Sheep offers up a game so well tied together in theme and design, it’s hard not to like it. In fact, there’s nothing unhappy about Happy Sheep and knitting has never been so fun. The basic premise is to sort the different colored sheep (and yes, they’re happy) into their corresponding color baskets. The sheep drop down from the top of the playing area and move their way down the screen on a series of conveyor belts, which players manipulate by tapping to change direction of motion. When you’ve “knitted” the object for the level by sorting out enough sheep, the next level becomes available for play.
There are 20 Happy Sheep levels in all, each with their own unique arrangement of belts and challenges. In some levels you have to avoid extra obstacles such as bombs that will blow up sheep, and as you progress through the levels, the challenge ante goes up as the sheep come in faster and faster. Happy Sheep is a game that tests reflexes and concentration, but does it in a colorful and happy way.
In the beginning, Happy Sheep is a bit confusing and will keep players on their toes – but the gameplay will become familiar enough within a short amount of time and this is the point where the addictive nature of such games kicks in. In addition to the progressively challenging levels, there are also Game Center achievements to unlock to extend the longevity of the game. What really helps tie Happy Sheep together is the consistent theme – colorful sheep, balls of yarn and knitted hats, socks and kilts. The sheep have personality and even the music is happy. All in all, it’s pretty well pieced together.
With a bit of practice and familiarity, Happy Sheep easily becomes the unique challenge it was meant to be. Quick reflexes and thinking are needed, especially on the harder levels, but it remains a challenge with merit and not at all without some entertainment value. It may not go down in App Store history as an all-time top seller, but could easily remain a hidden gem for people who like having a few go-to games on their phone just to pass the time.
A game with no real grumbling or disappointment to speak of, Happy Sheep is available (and optimized) as an iPhone app only, but is compatible with touch and iPad as well. Happy Sheep is value priced at $0.99 and has just enough pleasant elements to earn satisfied approval.