Fleeced! – Shear Terror, a twisted take on the castle defense genre, has been released by Bight Games and is available from the app store. Featuring a fun 3D graphic style, a crazy premise, and multiplayer functionality, Fleeced! is a unique offering that just might catch on with gamers.
Fleeced! – Shear Terror Pros:
- Graphically, Fleeced! looks terrific
- Endearing characters
- Clean and simple interface
- Great varying musical tunes and effects
- Open Feint tracking of 39 achievements
- Always free online multiplayer -- Hurray!
Fleeced! – Shear Terror Cons:
- Needs zoom and pan option for perimeter scans
Fleeced! pits two llama-rearing brothers in llama-holding pens against each other, with each attempting to breach his brother’s hay bale perimeter through cannon fire, which in turn will allow the lurking llama rustler to sneak in and shear his brother’s llama bare. It’s quite a mouthful and certainly one of the more inventive premises we’ve encountered. There are two game modes available: Story and Arcade. Story mode follows a set progression, increasing the size of the pens after each victory, for instance, and playing through a plot-driven course. Arcade mode allows you to select the parameters, including aspects like wind strength or which brother you’d like to play as. Arcade mode is also where you can opt to engage in multiplayer matches.
Gameplay is fast, frenzied, and full of strategic choices. In the beginning, you are alone with your llama in a square pen, with 3 coins in your pocket and your brother mirroring your setup across the field. Three coins will buy you a weapon, a simple, single-shot cannon, to be placed at your discretion. With your cannon ready and your walls intact, there’s nothing left but to fire on your bro. While standing next to your cannon, tap the fire button to launch a cannonball. While the ball is in flight, the accelerometer becomes enabled, allowing you to control the flight path of the cannonball by tilting forward, backward, left, or right. A red target indicates where the cannonball will land, giving you the opportunity to adjust its landing spot on the fly. Your ultimate target will be your brother’s walls, but you can also hit and damage his cannon or even strike your brother, causing him to drop all of his coins.
Striking your brother’s walls will slowly erode the affected section. Strike a wall a few times and the entire section will be eliminated, giving the wandering llama rustler access to the pen. Once he breaches the wall, there is nothing that can be done to stop him from shearing the llama. It will take 4 breaches to shear the llama bare, so you’ll need to do your best to keep him out. Approaching a weakened section, you can rebuild the wall by tapping the repair button. Repairs do not cost anything, so feel free to make them as often as necessary. Of course, if you are constantly repairing walls, you’ll never be able to fire your cannon and defeat your brother. The game quickly becomes a balance between repairing and taking shots at your brother’s pen. The best way to get a quick advantage is to note where the llama rustler is when you are firing your cannon and direct your cannonballs to a section of wall ahead of him. As the rustler simply walks around the pen in a fixed path, it should be easy enough to assess where he’ll be after you’ve fired off a few rounds. Shooting behind him will likely give your brother time to repair the fence before the rustler makes it back.
Coins and various power-ups spawn within your pen and allow you to purchase upgrades to your cannon or to your walls, as well as affect gameplay in various ways, such as automatically repairing all of your walls or causing all cannons to fire. There are multiple cannon types and wall types available, though we found wall upgrades to be fairly useless. There are far too many sections requiring far too much money to upgrade. Your brother could simply aim at the remaining non-upgraded sections and find success.
Graphically, Fleeced! looks terrific, creating a world with oversaturated colors and beautiful 3D environments. The characters are endearing and the interface is clean and simple to use. Controls mainly utilize touch, with a virtual joypad for movement and a 4-button grouping whose buttons turn yellow when one of the actions is possible. The buttons control selling and firing your cannons, as well as upgrading and repairing walls and cannons. The screen top indicates how many coins each player has and how much of his llama has been sheared. The soundtrack plays a fun tune and there are plenty of sound effects to denote different events. For instance, you’ll notice the music change when the rustler breaches a pen. There is quite a bit of polish to be found here, as this game could easily stand up against most games in the defense genre. Our biggest disappointment is that seeking out weakened or missing perimeter sections requires running around the pen’s perimeter. We’d love to see a zoom out feature or a mini-map to allow us to see sections that require attention without running all over the place.
Fleeced! offers a good deal of replay value, with Open Feint tracking of 39 achievements and the available multiplayer option, which utilizes Bluetooth or local wi-fi, as well as online wi-fi for matches against players around the world. Currently, there is a warning that Internet play is free for a limited time, but Bight Games has confirmed that Internet play will always be free and this warning will be removed shortly. At $3.99 [currently on sale for $1.99], it’s a bit on the pricier side, but there’s plenty of value to justify the cost. Fleeced! is a solid 4-Dimple star.Fleeced! – Shear Terror A Twisted Take On Castle Defense,