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GDC 2012: A look at ‘Tiny Sheep’ and ‘Pocket Minions’

Last week we had a chance to sit down with Kathy Fung, founder of SiuYiu, the studio behind tower-builder Vegas Towers HD [Free]. She showed us two games that should be coming out in the next few months, and we have to say, they’re pretty charming.

First up is Pocket Minions. This is a tower builder of a different sort, and it’s pretty adorable. It’s also strategically complex in a way that some similar tower games don’t quite pull off.

The goal is to create a perfect working ecosystem where your tower will produce and protect your minions and your minions will give you the means to keep building your tower. Each new floor you build gives you the ability to make a new minion, be it a Hunter, Maid, Wizard, Knight or whatever. You can command each of those little guys to produce new resources, like food or gold, that can be used to create even more minions and floors.

The minions are full of character, and you can drag them around to do your bidding. Neglect them enough and they’ll riot, leaving you to hang them up in the dungeon to straighten them out. Keep them happy with unclogged toilets and well-stoked furnaces and they’ll work their little hearts out for you. They’ll even take on thieves, ghosts and dragons, the threats that come to make your life miserable.

While this all sounds like the perfect recipe for an IAP currency system, we’ve been told Pocket Minions will be a premium title without purchasable currency, so you’re going to have to manage your tower through hard work and careful planning.

The studio does have a freemium title coming soon as well, called Tiny Sheep. It has two things we’ve seen before—animal breeding and city building—but it looks like it’s going to combine them delightfully. Everything comes back to the sheep. To earn money, you shear them and sell their wool. You use that money to add to your flock or bring in buildings that support your sheep breeding, like shearing shacks and markets for wool trade.

It looks like there’s quite a bit more to come from the city-building side of things, with fairs and churches and all manner of things around to support your sheep breeding.

Caring for your sheep fills out the other side of the game. You’ll need to protect them from wolves, shear them regularly, and keep them happy and healthy. If one member of the flock wanders off, the others will be sad until it’s found. If you protect them and keep them together, they’ll be happy. And when they breed, there’s always a chance they’ll produce a new, rare sheep, and you’ll have something highly prized to shear, sell or share.

The art style is particularly charming, and you absolutely must check out the teaser:

We’ll have more for you about both of these games a bit closer to release.