Review MADOW | Sheep Happens
Counting sheep has never been so stressful
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 15 May 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Easy controls, challenging gameplay, unique minimalist art design
Difficulty is unbalanced, needs different maps to break up the monotony
MADOW for Android is a deceptively challenging game. It requires you to get sheep from the top of a mountain all the way to the bottom following a hazardous path. You might be thinking you’ll need to protect the sheep from wolves or some other bloodthirsty animal, but you’d be wrong. No, instead you’re simply protecting them from themselves. Apparently sheep have an odd tendency to throw themselves off cliffs.
Much like infants, sheep wouldn’t know danger if it broke every bone in their poor sheep bodies - and in this case, it does. The controls are simple, which is important because they’re the last thing you’ll be paying attention to in this game. There are four paths for the sheep to traverse and each path is on its own level in relation to the mountain. For some reason, whoever created the pathway built drawbridges instead of normal ones. You have to tap the screen to raise or lower the drawbridges.
Of course, the game can’t be that easy, so it throws a stick in your spokes. When one bridge lowers, the bridge directly below it opens up. As you might imagine, this will send plenty of sheep spiraling to their deaths if you time it wrong. And you will.
The sheep trickle in at the beginning of the game, but once you’ve been at it a while, you’ll start getting huge waves of sheep. Some sheep move faster than others, and if you keep too many waiting at a bridge they’ll run over each other and topple to their deaths as well. The game is difficult. The only objective is to save as many sheep as possible before your life bar inevitably ends.
I found MADOW | Sheep Happens to be really fun, but incredibly difficult. The game seems imbalanced and you’ll find impossible scenarios where you just can’t save all the sheep, so they’re constantly falling off the mountain. Every sheep you save adds to your life bar, but at a certain point it just steadily drops. I’d like to see the game balanced a bit better so the player can actually succeed with skill rather than luck.