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Sheep - PC - Review

What would you say if you were asked to describe a sheep?  Most of us believe sheep to be slow, basically rather stupid animals that are raised for wool and meat.  There are some, however, who believe the story I am about to tell you.  Here is how that story goes...

Many eons ago, in the far away star system of Ovis Aries, there lived a species of highly intelligent creatures called Sheep.  Yes, you heard me right, they were Sheep.  Not the dim-witted sheep that we know today, but very smart creatures who sent a group of their kind on a mission through space to Earth to pose as passive creatures while they gathered information on the Earth's habitat.

Unfortunately the Sheep's space ship was damaged on arrival and the Sheep had no way to return home.  While maintaining their passive demeanor, the Sheep soon lost sight of their mission and over the passing years, they slowly became domesticated by Man and evolved into the mindless creatures we see them as today.

Now, the Sheep ancestors have returned to Earth from Ovis, to reclaim their lost flocks!  To avoid the unwanted attention of Man, they have abducted four Earth inhabitants and implanted in these four minds the desire to round up all the Sheep and bring them to Mount Mouflon for the journey home.

This is where you, the player, errr...shepherd, come in.  You must choose one of the four herders to use to gather the sheep.  You have one goal and only one!  You must find as many of the sheep as you can and persuade them to navigate their way to each Level exit.  There will be many hazards and obstacles to avoid, but there are also many bonuses to be found!  Keep in mind the ultimate goal!  "Get The Flock Out Of Here!"

Sheep is a puzzle strategy game that takes place within six worlds.  Each world has four levels that can be played in any order and a bonus game which is only available if you have collected all the golden sheep in that world.  There is one golden sheep in each level.  All four levels of each world must be completed before you can move on to another world; and keep in mind that the entire time you are struggling to herd those sheep, the clock is running!  The game is over if you fail to save the minimum number of sheep or if the clock runs out before you finish.

The alien Sheep have placed special converters in most of the levels to help the lost flocks survive the perils of that particular level.  These converters will provide some sort of protection to the sheep, such as flameproof suits or disguises.

This Empire Interactive game has three difficulty levels:  Easy, Medium and Hard.  Each difficulty level will dictate the number of Sheep who must be saved and the time allowed to save the sheep.  Advancing the difficulty level increases the number of Sheep and decreases the time allocation.

Now it is time to begin.  First, you must choose the herder!  Will it be sweet and lovable Bo Peep who likes to gently lead her flock?  Would you rather use Adam Halfpint who is really good at shoving his sheep into line?  You might want to use one of the two sheepdogs instead.  First there is Shep, a very intelligent sheepdog who has grown a bit too old and slow but who sees really well even if he does wear an eye patch!  Or you may want to use Motley, a simple female pet who dreams of being a sheepdog but is somewhat intimidated by some of the harder sheep breeds.

Once you have chosen the herder, you will need to learn how to issue commands.  This is done verbally, or in the dogs' cases, by barking.  Each herder has a number of voice commands which have different effects on the Sheep.

There are three different traveling speeds available:  creep, walk and run.  Adjusting your traveling speed in different conditions will help, so be sure to learn how to use all three.

Sheep has been given a rating for Everybody and is a Comic Mischief software.

Minimum PC System Requirements include:  Windows 95/98, Pentium 166MHz (266 or higher is recommended), 32MB RAM (64MB RAM is recommended), 80MB Hard Drive Disk Space, 4X CD-ROM, 4MB video card (No 3D acceleration is required, however, 8MB is recommended.), Soundblaster 16 Compatible Sound Card, Microsoft Compatible Mouse and Keyboard.

 

Installation is fairly quick and easy.

Gameplay:  6.0.  Sheep can be played with Joypad, Joystick, Keyboard or Mouse.  I tried the game with Joystick, Keyboard and Mouse and found movement to be very hard to control.  This game was also played on two other computers than my own with the same results.  Perhaps a more adept action player would have greater success and there is the possibility that using a Joypad would greatly improve gameplay.

Graphics:  8.0.  The graphics are quite good.

Sound:  7.5.  The Baaaaaing of the sheep gets a bit annoying at time, but the overall music and sound effects are good.

Difficulty:  9.0.  Playing Sheep at the Hard setting is very challenging, to say the least.

Concept:  9.0.  I found the storyline to be quite amusing, even with the difficult gameplay aspect.

Overall:  7.0.  Unfortunately, the awkwardness of the gameplay aspects greatly diminish an otherwise fine product in my eyes.

Good

Gw
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