Leap Sheep is one of those games that has an inescapable charm. The moment you open the app, you’ll fall in love with these woolly creatures. It’s always interesting to see how developers of high-profile console games do with casual iPhone titles, and Left 4 Dead co-creators Turtle Rock Garage certainly seem to have a knack for it.
The premise is simple and straightforward: Sheep run across the screen in three rows, and you need to tap them when they near the fence to make them hop over it. Sheep come running at all different speeds, so timing is key. If you fail to do this, the sheep stop up against the fence and shorten your jumping space. Once five are stopped, it’s game over.
In order to clear a pile-up of sheep and earn some extra points, you can tap jumping sheep in midair to have them perform a trick. Performing tricks also let you call in rams, which smash through the sheep and knock them to the other side.
Clean up on aisle 2!
One of the best features in Leap Sheep is the multitouch capability. The game allows you to tap sheep in all three rows at once. This works especially well when the game is pixel doubled on the iPad due to the expanded playing space.
It’s nearly impossible not to love these sheep as they gracefully prance over the gate. An exaggerated trombone soundtrack sets a new precedent for future games featuring sheep. Also cool is how the time of day translates into the game, so if you play in the morning the sun will just be coming up, and at night the moon glows in the background.
While we did enjoy Leap Sheep’s game mechanic, there is no denying it doesn’t offer much variety. To those looking for something deeper, you’d better look elsewhere. The online leaderboards and achievements via Plus+ do give the game enough longevity to justify the $1.99 price point, though.
Onwards to Mexico!
Our biggest disappointment with Leap Sheep is the lack of a hard mode that lets you start a game after things have become tricky. It has become a killer feature in titles like Minigore, Tilt to Live, and Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, and we feel it belongs in every great high-score game.
Leap Sheep is a strong casual game that is original enough to offer a fresh experience. An engaging use of multitouch and high production values make this game a solid buy.