I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, one of my favorite things about the accessibility and low barrier to entry of iPhone development is some of the shockingly off the wall game concepts that people manage to come up with. Extreme Sheepdog Trials [App Store] is yet another example of a strange game that actually is a surprising amount of fun.
As the title would hint, in the game you control a sheepdog and you make your way through a variety of different levels by either tapping where you want your dog to go or drawing a line for it to follow to herd sheep. The thing with this game is, it has so many neat features that any one of them packed in to the game by themselves would have been cool enough, but the complete package is something you’ve really got to try.
For instance, while there is a standard level pack where you’re herding sheep about the countryside, there’s also other level packs included that have you doing crazy things like herding sheep in some kind of futuristic space station. These levels are much more puzzle oriented, with switches you will need to hit with your dog to do things like disable lasers so you don’t fry your sheep. These levels also have sheep teleporters, and a bunch of other awesome obstacles to work through.
But if you’re thinking to yourself, “I am a professional sheep herder, I don’t want to touch the screen when I know how to command my sheepdog by whistles," oddly enough, you’re in luck. The absolute coolest thing about this game is that if you’re playing on a device with a microphone, you can control your dog by whistling. The game will even teach you how to handle a sheepdog using whistles, and as far as I can tell, all of the whistles are what you’d really use if you were really out herding sheep with a real trained sheepdog.
There’s even online leaderboards for you to compare your sheep herding skills with the rest of the world.
The only real down side to Extreme Sheepdog Trials is the amount of levels. Currently there are three different packs with five levels each. Some of them are very difficult and will take a while to complete, but it still would be nice to see more. Even though the game is a little light on content, I still recommend giving it a spin if this review has at all piqued your interest– Just make sure you give the whistle controls a try.