Farm animals and UFOs are common themes in the app store. Chickens, cows and aliens somehow bewitch people into spending their money. The game Sheep Abduction from Sticky Studios is no exception.
Both the sheep and aliens in Sheep Abduction are nothing short of adorable. The sound effects of the bleating sheep and alien tractor beam are reminiscent of Saturday morning cartoons. However, Sheep Abduction falls far short of being a solid game.
First of all, the learning curve for Sheep Abduction is too steep. You, the alien ship, are supposed to pick up sheep with your tractor beam and drop them on crop circles. In Level 1, this works out OK. Move on to Level Two, and it gets tricky.
The instructions Sheep Abduction say that you have to keep the brown and white sheep separated, and that “you cannot always beam up everything.” I have not figured out how this theory applies to the game, and I am definitively stuck on Level Two of Sheep Abduction. I rounded up the brown sheep, but then I still could not beam up the white sheep, even though I had picked up the glowing white sheep head. One user review of Sheep Abduction on iTunes said that the puzzle of figuring out what to do on each level is part of the fun of playing the game. I’m not having fun.
If Sheep Abduction did not have a time limit, I would feel differently about the game. Forty-five seconds is not enough time to figure out each level. Though I have not seen them personally, Sheep Abduction's higher levels have challenges like wolves, vultures and windmills.
The premise of Sheep Abduction is also confusing. The alien needs water. The alien knows sheep create crop circles which is how humans communicate. For the alien to save his planet, he drops sheep on crop circles so they can chew grass there. Ummm…is there a little more information we could get here?
Obviously I am not impressed with Sheep Abduction. It has so much potential, and I love the cartoon graphics. But Sheep Abduction is just not intuitive. I want the developers to be more clear on how the game is played, or if I am supposed to figure it out myself, get rid of the time limit. Maybe one or both of these will be included in a Sheep Abduction update. Until then, I’m moving back to the city.