Oct 14, 2011
I’m a big fan of any game that presents a great, unique concept and takes the time to give it some real charm and character. Clouds & Sheep is just such a game. It’s an addictive casual game about looking after a flock of sheep that have some peculiar qualities.
Like other games of this type, you start with a set number of sheep and are given a list of tasks that must be performed. Tasks such as growing grass for the sheep to eat, making sure they stay out of trouble and breeding them. But then there are the more interesting tasks, like gathering clouds together to make it rain, or storm, so that the sheep will have water to drink. Then there’s play time, either by tossing the sheep around or pulling their tails and letting them snap back to send the sheep rolling. It looks cruel, but they love it, and they prove their love by giving you stars you can use to spend on supplies and other items to keep the sheep happy.
What the sheep don’t love is starving, getting sick, being struck by lightning or dehydrated. And, yes, they can die. When a sheep dies, it turns back into clouds and drifts away. One of the ways to replenish your flock is by getting them to breed.
Breeding sheep is easy; you simply maneuver them around “love flowers” that are growing in the field. When the sheep eat the flowers, they fall in love and, well, when a mommy and a daddy sheep love each other very much, they produce a heart that, if caught up in the clouds, becomes a baby sheep.
To keep the game interesting and give you a sense of progression, you’ll have to complete a series of challenges before you can move onto a bigger field. Challenges include tossing as many sheep into the air at the same time as possible, or intentionally getting them struck by lightning. In another challenge, you have to catch a baby sheep after it forms in the clouds. I feel like the developers missed an opportunity for a great pun, here, as they called the challenge “Catch Me If You Can” when, clearly, they should have named it “Catch Me If Ewe Can,” but I digress.
While the game is open-ended and quite fun, the activity level ramps up far too quickly, going from a nice, casual pace to a hectic run to get as much done as possible. Furthermore, the challenges tend to repeat after a while, becoming stale. All in all, Clouds & Sheep is a great casual game and quite enjoyable, but loses its casual status to become almost unmanageable. Another mark against the game is the poor performance as the frame-rate drops to single digits on my Droid X from time to time, becoming completely unresponsive.
Despite the technical problems and lack of purpose, Clouds & Sheep is still a cute, fun game that I enjoyed very much.