Coining a phrase such as “artificial stupidity” will surely garner attention for any product — but it’s difficult to avoid negative connotations. Unfortunately, the mind-boggling interactivity of “Sheep” doesn’t prevail over such a dim-witted blemish.
Think Chicken Run, minus intelligence, because these wooly mammals are more like lemmings overdosed on sleeping pills, inconsistent and completely ambivalent in nature. Intoxicating at start, bewildering a few hours through and just plain annoying by closure — indeed, that is “Sheep.”
Rudimentary in concept, you portray one of four ultrahip herders: Bo Peep, Adam Halfpint, Motley and the pirate-clad dog, Shep. But considering the flocks of fluff are stubborn, rounding them up proves extremely frustrating. They squeal incessantly, wander aimlessly and oftentimes walk straight into whirling cutlery.
To add more pain to this seemingly simple game are four diverse breeds of livestock. Pastoral are pleasant yet paranoid; Factoral are fearless, but tend to confuse foes for friends; Long Wool are punk rockers with brains the size of a pea; and Neo Genetics are sunglasses-cool — luckily, they flock together. For each quartet of theme-based levels, only one type of sheep may be utilized. Redundancy is not allowed — thus, you must chose wisely.
At least the story line is charming, highlighted by periodic short cinemas. Just open your mind for a moment and pretend that sheep are highly intelligent beings from another universe — yet, after millions of years on Earth, they have de-evolved into idiotic, farmland novelties.
Maneuvering through 28 stages of medieval obstacles and disco-club treachery — sure, it’s entertaining at first glance — soon enough, the fun morphs into inane folly.
So when a cute, cuddly creature of wool poses the question, “Can you guide me home?” don’t be afraid to dodge an answer entirely. “Sheep” is a bargain-bin disc, brief and unredeeming — just as most puzzlers are.
Jon M. Gibson investigates the triumphs — and pitfalls — of games and other technological poundcakes. E-mail him at email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.