The best Baah none.
Aardman Animations loveable farmyard character Shaun the Sheep is back for another adventure after the excellent Home Sheep Home 2. The Wallace and Gromit star has obviously proved popular, but can an action title all about running around a farmyard do as well?
Shaun’s latest game is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s based on a very similar title that Chillingo released two years ago called Sheeple Chase. The premise of the game; racing against pigs in a variety of farmyard settings, is exactly the same, but while Sheeple Chase had plenty of issues around the control systems, a ton of work has obviously been done to make Fleece Lightning a far better experience.
The game is played in portrait mode, with Shaun and the pigs racing from the top of the screen down the track until they get to the gate at the end. Once the last pig is through the gate it closes and if Shaun is on the wrong side it’s Game Over. Beat at least one of the porcine runners and you get to play the next level.
A set of control options cover everything from tilting left and right (my preferred choice here) to on screen buttons and swipes. It should pretty much provide an option for everyone. The tilting works much better than in Sheeple Chase and is highly responsive when needed most during the
As expected, a three star style scoring system is present here, using apples to measure your performance in place of stars. This ensures plenty of replay value for those who are determined to complete the game properly with maximum points. Getting ahead of the all the pigs is essential for getting a three apple score and that means knowning the track like the back of your hand.
The game certainly ramps up the difficultly pretty quickly, too. The piggy opponents only get faster and obstacles such as ponds, cows and hedges litter the track. Some buildings do provide a springboard over the obstacles, but you need to be lined up in order to use them. It takes a few replays to memorise the position of these and this is a must if you want to set a good time.
As you make your way through the 80+ races on offer there does come a point where frustration can set in. There’s no doubt that the game can be punishing at times, but those who persevere will feel rewarded. Should you tire of these races, an easy to use course designer has also been included as a nice little extra. The short length of the course does restrict any grand designs, but it’s a great little additional element that should expand the length of the game and items are very easy to place just by dragging and dropping them on the course.
Graphically, Shaun's latest title lives up to Aardman's high standards and both the animals and background charactes are certainly very well designed and detailed. Music and sound effects come straight from the TV series and there are some great grunts and bleats as pigs are beaten or get their own back during a race.
Shaun The Sheep: Fleece Lightning adds another quality game to the woolly wonder’s line up and another solid title for Chillingo.
- Sound: 9
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 8
- Longevity: 8
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