Aug 11, 2010

Sheep Slinger

It was in the shower this morning that I had a revelation. The game I had tried out last night (Sheep Slinger) had a major flaw... you could just play and play and play with no fear of death. What kind of witty analogy would I use? Space Invaders without bombs? Pac Man without ghosts? But first, back to Sheep Slinger...

Sheep Slinger is a simple game that actually borrows the whole sling shot concept from games like Steel Shot, but instead gives you two slings (lower left and right). It then keep everything on the screen, throws in some barn yard animals and some funky Deliverance style banjo music for a twisted take on the shoot 'em up genre. In Sheep Slinger you have flying pings scrolling across your screen while sheep voluntarily sacrifice themselves as ammo for your slings. The sheep hop on your slings and you just have to pull back and release in an attempt to pick off the flying, purple pigs from the sky.

The graphics are decent and the sound good, assuming you don't dislike banjo music as I do. The controls are perfect and use the touch screen well. The scrolling is smooth and the game includes basic instructions, but omits such information as what it takes to beat the bosses... what the number along the bottom of the screen is that the boss seems to be reducing. What does everyone astute enough to recognize the need for instructions also think their game can be summarized in 8 words or less? Less rules = good. Missing rules = bad.

But the core problem with this game is that it's way too easy in addition to being repetitive. The repetitive nature makes me classify it as more of an arcade game which means it needs to be hard, or, at least, a way to make it hard (i.e. difficulty levels). My shower revelation was incorrect... you're trying to meet a quota to get past the current level and on to the next level. However, when you're firing at the pigs you're in no danger (other than the need to accumulate a certain number of hits) and I had little difficulty in killing the bosses... at least early on (I admittedly got bored pretty quickly). This is another game that shows that the developers are competent and talented programmers, but that needs more in the realms of game design. Maybe if you're looking for something really easy and cute for the kids this is right on target, but for gamers that want to be challenged this is a miss even at the low cost of a buck. Having to say that makes me sad because the game is really quite well executed. 3/5 stars.


  1. Hello!

    Hey there Alster,
    thank you for your review.
    My name is Haden, I developed Sheep Slinger and upon searching for reviews stumbled upon this.
    I want to thank you for your time in assessing Sheep Slinger and also pointing out the weak areas of the game. I am continually working on and improving Sheep Slinger because it is important to me that those who pay theyre $0.99 thoroughly enjoy their experience. I have been hoping people would voice any concerns and have enjoyed people sharing with me their enjoyment in playing the game. I am thankful for your review however because although I have many plans for improvement, there are a few which I can address promptly. I will add better instructinos quickly:) and continue to think up new challenging ideas.

    There are a few concepts currently being developed which add to the variety and difficuly of the game. They should be up within a few weeks at most.

    I invite you to share any ideas you(or anyone) would like to see implemented in Sheep Slinger.

    Please pop me an email at and we can chat.

    Thank you for your time!

  2. I love this game!! 5/5 stars for me!!

  3. And one thing I'll say if that I've really appreciated that MOST Android ddevelopers have been very respectful of my criticism and have a genuine desire to make their game better. In fact, I've only had two childish responses with one threatening legal action. I think this game has potential and it's so nice to hear eagerness to improve it.

    My ideas would probably be a timer for each level during which I had to meet a quote... and animals that dive bomb to try and knock sheep off of the catapults and interfering with my progress. If I don't meet the timed quota then no boss / level progress for me. And now I have some targets that are more pressing to eliminate.

    5/5? Why? I'd really love to hear more than just a game is great or bad. I'm also willing to accept that I might always miss something or make an error in a review.

  4. Hey alster, each level is timed however displaying the timer might be a plus. I am considering dive bombing animas however that may make it more arcade style as opposed to the fun casual style that everyone already loves, and as this is the first critisism on the animals not attacking i need some more feedback. What does every one think? If this is what is generally wanted i will definately do that. Thanks for replying alster. There is one thing however that i realised after reading your blog and while i appreciate your time, i dont appreciate spam on the sheep slingers page. Ie advertising your site. You may comment as you like, however im sure you understand spam is bad etiquite. Thank you very much! Have a great day.