Well, It had to happen sooner or later; someone watched One Man And His Dog and was inspired. They heard the words "Shep's gone a bit wide" and thought: "Yup, we'll make a game out of that." Now, there are many different guises a PC gamer can assume: adventurer, soldier, footballer, pilot, even terrorist or assassin. But shepherd?! Is anybody remotely interested in being a sheep herder? Developer Mind's Eye Productions apparently thinks so. Sheep is pure console zaniness; the idea of herding a flock of sheep astronauts back to their spaceship so they can return home is plainly ridiculous. Get into the spirit of things though, and you might find yourself having fun.
A World Of Sheep
The game is played over seven worlds with four levels on each. The landscapes range from basic farmyards to enormous intergalactic spaceships. Gameplay draws from numerous puzzle-based console titles, such as Goof Troop, Frogger and Bomberman and is surprisingly addictive.
The way these loveable, but oh-so-stupid sheep are portrayed allows them to instantly tumble into the affections of all but the most cold-hearted of PC gamers.
The poor little lambs get crushed, boiled, blown up and blow-dried on a regular basis. Like Lemmings, this is the kind of game that can throw up a brand new killing device and encourage you to sacrifice just one sheep so you can giggle at poor Flossy's senseless demise. At the other end of the emotional scale, when a cow driving a steamroller crushes your entire flock there's an incredible sense of loss. Players can choose to herd as one of four different shepherds. There's Bo Beep, the sheep loving rock star; Adam Half Pint, the sheep hating private eye; Motley, a pet dog who dreams of being a sheepdog and, of course, Shep, an ageing sheepdog who's looking for one last challenge.
The actual skill of herding the sheep around the obstacle-ridden mazes is exactly how you would imagine it: you run around one side of the flock to get it shuffling off in the other direction. Simple in theory-but not so simple in practice. Once you've mastered the controls, you can guide your iroviding extra points, access to secret levels and bonus sheep -and you can never have too many sheep. Why? Because a minimum of ten sheep must reach the exit in order to complete the level. More importantly, the number of sheep you leave one level with is the number you start with on the next. It all adds up to some frantic herding and some genuinely enjoyable moments.
Ultimately, the novelty factor wears off quickly. Admittedly, it remains longer than it has any right to, but problems such as sheep getting stuck eventually take their toll. It's also quite a short game, which means dedicated shepherds shouldn't have problems completing the game in a day or two.
The chances are most people will prefer to spend their cash on something with a bit more depth and lasting appeal. Still, when it comes to family entertainment, you could do a lot worse.
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode