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iPhone  header logo

Fleeced! - Shear Terror

For: iPhone

Herdland security

Product: Fleeced! - Shear Terror | Developer: Bight Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Multiplayer | Players: 1-2 | Networking: wireless (adhoc), wireless (network), Bluetooth | Version: US | App version: 1.0.1
Fleeced! - Shear Terror iPhone, thumbnail 1
No need to panic: the iPhone gaming threat level has been lowered.

Fleeced! - Shear Terror
poses no risk to the promise of great portable gaming and is in fact working with authorities to inform the general public of its creative gameplay.

Sibling rivalry serves as the backdrop for Fleeced! where you endeavour to beat your brother Kana by destroying the outer fence of his llama pen.

Each successfully blown apart section allows the gruff rustler to mosey in and sheer a bit of wool from Kana's llama. You win once his llama has been completely fleeced.

Kana and the golden fleece

Of course, it's not as simple as fire and forget. Kana has it out for you and attacks your pen with passion, whilst striving to repair the cracks put in his own fence. Winning is a matter of balancing offence and defence, attacks and repairs, building and destroying.

You start each round with three coins, a llama, and a dream to become Peru's premier llama shepherd. Keeping that dream alive means buying cannons: three coins nets you a standard cannon, which you can upgrade for more powerful shots using additional money. Other weapons allow double shots, scatter shots, and more.

After pressing the 'fire' button to shoot a cannon, you're then in charge of directing it via the accelerometer. Slam into a fence or enemy cannon for damage: alternatively, you can nail your opponent to scatter his coins.

Transportation Shearcurity Administration

Once fired, cannons have to recharge before taking another shot. It's during this time that you're able to run around collecting the coins that randomly appear, which can then be used for upgrading walls and cannons.

Repairing dilapidated walls costs you nothing, but stronger wooden and stone defences require additional investment. Spending money on fence upgrades versus purchasing additional weapons or upgrading existing turrets presents a strategic dilemma.

Money isn't the only limiting factor since time restricts mobility as well. The more time you spend running around your pen, the less you're able to take the offensive. It's a great dynamic because it forces you to move quickly and think ahead.

Nicked while shaving

Despite its smooth appearance, Fleeced! is not a clean shave. Minor shortcomings undercut the strategic balance and question its long term appeal.

The random spawning of coins understandably prevents one side from unfairly having more cash then the other, yet the steady rate at which they appear discourages buying advanced cannons.

Since more powerful cannons cost at least twice as much as a cheap one, you're disinclined to buy anything but basic ones and spend your precious coinage on upgrades.

While you're free to hoard coins to build better weapons, the incentive lies in building cheaply and quickly. Building two basic cannons is often more effective than a single powerful one because you can fire more shots.

This unintended constriction of strategy is indicative of a larger issue. Despite the wise inclusion of both local and online multiplayer, the repetitive nature of Fleeced! casts doubt on its lasting value.

There's surprisingly little variation between levels, particularly in Story mode where stages are strung together by means of a threadbare plot that abruptly ends. Changes in the shape of the pens and wind speed are cursory variations that don't entice replay.

Customisable avatars and llamas, unlockable multiplayer ranks, even just adding in different terrain would weave in the variety needed.

Nevertheless, Fleeced! has an uncanny way of making you forget about these shortcomings by sheer virtue of its creativity and fun gameplay.
Fleeced! - Shear Terror
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 20 January 2010
Cleverly weaving together action and strategy, Fleeced! - Shear Terror epitomises creative design and competitive fun
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