Give or take a few, there are approximately 690 puzzle applications for Windows Phone 7. One of such is Awesome Sheep, a puzzle game for your Windows Phone that has you leading your sheep from the barn to pasture.
Sounds easy, right? It would be if the path was straight and narrow but Awesome Sheep has your tackling see-saws, diving from cliffs (the sheep are equipped with parachutes) and other hurdles to tackle. Awesome Sheep has moved up the popularity list for Windows Phone puzzle games and to see what all the excitement is about, just leap on past the break.
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep have you any parachutes?
The game premise of Awesome Sheep is simple. Move your sheep from the barn to pasture without sending them to their doom. It's a puzzle game in that you have to navigate around, through, over, and under obstacles on your way to pasture. Awesome Sheep is a multi-level game with each level getting a little harder than the last.
Controls are laid out nicely on the bottom of the screen and allow you to stop your sheep, have your sheep jump, climb walls, achieve ramming speed and deploy their parachutes.
Your sheep will move continuously, unless you tap the stop button and to switch between sheep all you need to do is tap on them. If they hit an solid object (wall, cliff base, another sheep, door, etc) they will reverse direction.
When your trying to move multiple sheep to pasture, puzzles are laid out to require some degree of team work with the sheep. For example, in one stage you will need one sheep to anchor down a see-saw (or teeter-totter) so the other can climb up to activate a door switch.
The screen doesn't move with your sheep but you can zoom out to get the full picture. This is almost a necessity when your trying to guide multiple sheep to pasture. Also, there isn't a Help Section to the game but as you encounter obstacles or movements for the first time, a pop-up message will appear to explain what's going on.
The game has potential but...
Awesome Sheep has a lot of potential but there are a few areas that need some attention.
First, when you tap the parachute button it deploys the chute. If you tap it again, the chute is retracted. Important safety tip: Only tap the chute button once.
Second, the graphics are a little bland. Not so bad it hurts your eyes but I think a more cartoonish feel would have been better. The background and obstacles are soft but the sheep don't seem to math the mood of the game.
Third, there's no way to reverse the sheeps direction manually. The sheep will change direction when they hit something and you'll need to use this feature to solve some of the levels. However if the last sheep in line changes direction, there is no way to reverse the course. Resulting in the sheep walking off a cliff.
None are deal breakers but not being able to control the sheeps travel direction is the only issue that I found that took away from the game. It does make things challenging in that with one wrong bump your toast but it also makes things a little frustrating.
While there is still room for improvement, Awesome Sheep is an entertaining puzzle game. Especially in playing the levels that have you moving multiple sheep that require a little team work with your flock.
The Windows Phone app ran smoothly with no bugs, glitches or crashes experienced. Game controls were responsive and while the game didn't scroll with your sheeps movements, you can zoom out to see what dangers are ahead.
Not being able to manually change the sheep's direction does make the game a bit more challenging but unlike missing a jump, having your sheep helpless walk to its doom can be frustrating. As is, I'd give the free trail version of Awesome Sheep a try first before laying down the $2.99 for the full version.
You can find Awesome Sheep here (opens you Zune desktop) at the Marketplace.