Shaun is a bit of an odd entity, right? Originally appearing in the Aardman animation Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave, he’s gone on to get his own animated shorts and appear in numerous video games for various platforms. His latest for iOS—Shaun the Sheep – Fleece Lightning—is one of those games that could have easily been forgettable, but the character’s charm and the top notch development make it worth a look.
What is it?
Fleece Lightning is a barnyard racing event that pits Shaun the Sheep against an awful lot of pigs. You’re not going around a circular track, but more like a drag racing through the farm, with all of the obstacles you’d expect to interfere with a barnyard race…and then some. Race over bridges, between fences, around trees, etc.
And because it comes with a level editor, you can create your own tracks.
How does it work?
Is there a name now for games like this? I’m sure there must be. I mentioned a drag race before, only with the other definition of drag. Shaun and a pig (or multiple pigs, as the game progresses) start the game at the top of the screen. The animals race at their own speed, and you use your finger to guide Shaun down past the obstacles and into the performance boosters as they screen quickly scrolls up. Swipe left to move left, swipe right to move right.
It sounds easy, but those “race tracks” get quite crowded, and the game moves at breakneck speeds. Winning is a matter of avoid obstacles, staying on the track (arrows point the way), and using the speed boosts along the way.
Is it contagious?
The races—80 in all—are very quick, making this a game you’ll use to kill time while waiting for your chicken chow fun or the bus to arrive. There was never a point where I thought, “Just one more race,” but Fleece Lightning quickly became my go-to app for filling time when I had a few minutes to kill.
I can’t see myself seeking out further racing games of this style, but with this particular title, the graphics, music, gameplay and characters come together to create a rather enjoyable, but fleeting, experience.