I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #213, and today’s game is “Wool”.
Milkstone Studios is a prolific developer of great XBL indie games. Games like “Infinity Danger”, “MotorHEAT”, and “Little Racers”. Add Wool to that list, a game about sheep herding that somehow manages to include multiplayer which helps elevate it above being just a quirky concept and into a great game.
First, from the developer (Milkstone Studios):
“Ah, the bucolic countryside… A death trap for sheep! They can be adorable but certainly not very intelligent, and now have escaped to the 30 most intricate meadows in the region. Sniff the trail alone or team up with up to other three dogs and gather them all in a safe place for their own good. Show’em this is not work for a pig! (the World Scores feature requires Gold subscription)”
It’s amazing to me that sheep herding has become a sub-genre in its own right, with games like Flock, Herdy Gerdy, Space Herdy, Sheep, and more. How that’s happened I’m not sure, but I’m glad it’s lasted long enough to bring us Wool. Most of those others aren’t multiplayer though, but in Wool the multiplayer is a huge part. Perhaps most surprisingly, the multiplayer is both co-operative and competitive, giving you the option of either helping your comrades corral sheep or try to out-herd them. Multiple difficulty levels round out a package that’s more well-rounded than you’d likely expect, including global scoreboards.
Presentation is striking, taking a page out of Paper Mario’s playbook by making all the on-screen characters paper thin (most obvious when they’re turning around). The music is appropriate and didn’t wear on me, which is all you can ask of music in a game like Wool. The game has definite personality. All in all, this 80 point game is a bargain. I recommend you give it a trial, because probably no description could ever be perfectly apt for this game, and it’s definitely worth trying.
Click here to download “Wool”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.
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