Divide by Sheep is a game about plonking sheep on rafts. Not willy-nilly though - that would be mental. Instead you're herding set numbers of the farm animals off to safety.
At least that's what you're supposed to be doing. In practice it's a lot tougher than it sounds. And it involves maths. And, more often than not, murdering some of your flock so you can get the right amount onto the boats.
Everything is controlled with swipes, and things start off reasonably simply. You swoop a finger over the screen to move chunks of sheep around the blocks on the screen. Each of these blocks is made up of a number of smaller blocks, which represent how many sheep can stand on them.
Each level has three rafts, each requiring a certain number of sheep. You get a star for each raft you fill correctly, and you'll need these to unlock later parts of the game.
You have to figure out how to move your sheep around in such a way that when they leap onto the raft, there's the right number of them there. And as you play through the levels, you'll face ever more challenging puzzles.
There are lasers that slice your sheep in half, meaning they take up twice the space. Black beasts that eat your flock if they land on the same squares, fences you can't pass through, and explosive blocks that cease to exist if you jump off them.
And that's just the start. There are other traps and new blocks waiting to trip you up at regular intervals. Trip you up in a good way, mind. In a gateway-to-more-eureka-moments sort of a way.
But don't let the cutesy exterior fool you. This is a game that offers a solid puzzling challenge. It starts off reasonably casually, but to get deeper into things you'll need to have a good hard think about some of the levels.
There are a few niggles – namely that the little cartoons that explain what the new mechanics do aren't particularly clear.
There are some sharp difficulty spikes as well, and while you can get past a level by filling one raft, you'll need to earn a good chunk of the stars to unlock the next area.
Those little problems aside, this is a fresh and engaging puzzler that's brilliantly well put together, surprisingly gory, and should keep you entertained for a long while.
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