In a typically unpredictable App Store manner, the highly anticipated Rodeo Stampede – Sky Zoo Safari (Free) has dropped a day early and has finally been released on iOS for free. Being the collaboration of developer Featherweight and artist Dan Graf (who were responsible for Skiing Yeti Mountain (Free) and Fruit Ninja ($1.99) respectively, amongst others), the game has an extremely strong pedigree, and an interesting amalgamation of game mechanics to boot. The unique gameplay of running and jumping between animals on a stampede shakes up what is a rather tired genre, and you are also able to look after your own sky zoo through doing missions, upgrading exhibits, catching rare animal variants and successively opening your doors to the public to reap in the admission fees. This merger of auto-runner beast taming action with a management aspect on the side is a really novel idea that we thought was awesome when we looked at Rodeo Stampede for the first time back at GDC.
While the voxel graphical style reminiscent of Crossy Road (Free) type games and the free price of entry may betray fears of a restrictive freemium title, thankfully this is not the case. While there are some optional advertisement videos and some in app purchases to buy coins, a literal cash cow coin doubler or even rare animals you haven’t ensnared in your lasso yet, these all simply speed up what can be accomplished far more enjoyably just by playing the game. During my brief spell with the game prior to release, I’ve been unable to put it down, and it really is as good as the hype suggests. While we have a review coming for it soon, I’d definitely recommend giving Rodeo Stampede a download, and be sure to leave your opinions and details of rare beasts you have tamed on our forums.