Fleeced! [rating: 5/5]Update: Fleeced! has just been Featured in What’s Hot on the App Store and will be 50% off for the time of the feature. One of the great things about the Apple App Store is it’s ability to enable fresh new talent to engage in producing new and unique apps. Bight Games aren’t new to the App Store, they already have the well received Big Top 10 available for purchase but soon their latest and perhaps the most bizarre game to hit the App Store will be released in the form of Fleeced!
In it’s simplest form Fleeced! for iPhone is a Castle Defense style game where you need to defend your walls while attempting to break down your opponents. Nothing too unique in that but it’s the way that you do it and the reason why you are doing it that makes Fleeced! so unique.
You take the role of one of two Peruvian brothers who have taken sibling rivalry to a whole new level. Both brothers have a Llama and in order to defeat your brother you must attempt to shear his llama of all it’s valuable wool before he shears yours. Both brothers are helped on their mission by local llama rustlers who, while you destroy your brothers walls to the ground will run in and sheer the llama as quick as he can! Is there another game that comes close to this in the App Store? I think not.
OK, so the premise may sound confusing but the game is anything but. You start the game in a small pen made of hay walls with just you and your llama inside. You have 3 coins to your name and an angry brother on the other side of the field in a similar pen. The first thing you’ll need to do is get yourself a weapon, and in Fleeced! the weapon of choice are a variety of cannons. For 3 coins you are only able to purchase the smallest of the cannons. To do this you select the cannon option from the 4 action buttons in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. This will bring up the cannon options where you can drag and drop your cannon into your pen. Placement is key here on the later rounds esp. as cannons can take up quite a bit of space.
With a cannon built you can now start firing at your brother, or more specifically at his walls. The main action button in the shoot button and when the cannon is loaded and you are positioned behind it the fire button becomes enabled and you can launch your cannonball(s). From this point on until the cannonball(s) hit their target the playing perspective turns to 1st person mode and you can control the direction of them by moving the iPhone/iPod touch left/right and backwards/forwards. This takes some getting used to at the start but after a few games you’ll be breaking down your brothers walls with comparative ease.
The first cannon that you purchase will only smash a couple of layers of wall and so you’ll need at least a couple of accurate shots to break through his defenses to let the llama rustler through to shear your brothers llama. However, the rustler runs around the walls in a fixed direction so opening up a gap in the defenses while the rustler is at the other end of the pen will give your brother the opportunity to fix the wall.
While all this is going on of course your brother is attempting to break down your wall so that his llama rustler can get to your llama and shed him of his valuable fleece. As with most Castle Defense games you need to balance your defense and attack appropriately.
You control your character via a virtual dpad in the lower left corner of the screen. Run towards a destroyed or partially destroyed wall, which is highlighted by the icon at your characters feet, and click the re-build icon to repair it. A fully repaired hay wall can then be upgraded to a wooden wall for extra strength, at the cost of 1 coin, and while that will become more and more necessary as you progress through the levels you need to save some of those coins for upgrading to bigger and better cannons.
Coins are randomly dropped inside your pen and so as you run between wall and cannon, cannon and wall you can build up your coins for both upgrading your cannons and walls. Also randomly around you pen power-ups will be placed, from increasing the power of your cannons to automatically rebuilding all of your walls these power-ups can sometimes be the difference between success and failure and that’s even before you mention the Llama Swap power-up which can instantly turn an imminent win to a loss, and vice versa.
The game play is perfectly balanced. Go out on full attack and you will soon find your defenses in tatters while concentrate on your defenses and you’ll never break through your brothers walls. The controls are smooth, sound effects are effective and with an appropriately Peruvian soundtrack that plays along in the background it’s difficult to find anything not to like about this game and we are not even finished yet!
The main Story Mode of the game offers a lot of value and with the 3 difficulty levels it should keep you entertained for some considerable time to come. Fleeced! also overs multi-player options not only over local Bluetooth and local WiFi but also via the internet. The two local options worked flawlessly with only one disconnect during multiple games and that’s probably more to do with the connection than the game itself. Unfortunately as this was a pre-release version of the game I wasn’t able to play the game in it’s online mode but if it’s just as good as the local multi-player mode the extra life that it will give the game should make this a keeper!
The Not So Good
Reviewed by: Craig Willis
Fleeced – Shear Terror! Teaser from Bight Games
Fleeced Gameplay Trailer
Price: $1.99 (iTunes Store) as of 26 Jan
Reviewed Version: 1.0.1
Size: 8.5 MB
Seller: Bight Interactive Inc.