The Quest for the Lost Sheep

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Number of Ratings: 3
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- hoopla, February 5, 2016

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Great premise, some annoyances, August 8, 2010

Pros: Lost Sheep has an adorable premise that's played out in a delightful array of detail. While searching for Bo Peep's lost sheep, you encounter a wide variety of other nursery rhyme and fairy tale characters, many of whom you will help in the process of finding the sheep. There are many prompts for correct commands that will be a great help to beginners, as well as a nice though basic about page with reminders of the premise and possible commands. One minor feature that I found particularly delightful is that each sheep you find is a different accurately-described real world breed of sheep! Most of the puzzles involve either searching the landscape or getting objects from characters and giving them to other characters -- basic, but well-written. Your character is never in any real danger and as far as I can tell there is no way to lose or to render the game unwinnable.

Cons: The map is rather large and not easily hand-mappable, resulting in a lot of time spent wandering aimlessly through the world. The introduction hints that you can "listen" for sheep, but at least in my playthrough this did not appear to ever be necessary or useful. Many of the sheep can be found by looking carefully at different scenery features, but the landscape is scattered with red herrings, making the search tedious. (Spoiler - click to show) One of the red herrings is quite literal. While this is cute, just know right now that you cannot do anything with the fish if you manage to get it. This will save you much frustration.

Since I am used to games with a much larger command inventory, I spent an unhelpful amount of time trying "obvious" solutions to puzzles that the game had not anticipated, and the single error message got repetitive very quickly. For example, (Spoiler - click to show)despite the fact that you are in a large forest armed with an axe, and you pass several stacks of cut lumber and branches, there is only one "branch" you can use to make a torch out of. There is also nothing that I could find to re-unite Red Riding Hood with her grandmother, though the game seemed to be hinting that I should do so.

Despite its flaws, this is an excellent game particularly well-suited to beginners and people who have a better spatial memory than I do and so won't get lost in the forest ;-)

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Great for beginners, August 6, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

I keep seeing on message boards posts about making IF more attractive for beginners. This does that.

First of all, it takes a fairly familiar topic: fairy tales. You're helping little bo peep find her sheep by wandering around fairy tale land and meeting various other characters: little red riding hood, goldilocks, hansel and gretel, etc.

The parser is flash based, making it easy to put on webpages, and the names of people are printed in red, the names of objects in orange, and the exits are listed at the end of the room descriptions in cyan. It makes it very easy for the player to navigate. In gold, special commands (like help) are mentioned in the intro, to draw attention to the help command for newbies.

The quest itself is fairly easy. You walk around and TALK TO people, and ASK people ABOUT SHEEP. Some people will give you items, which are generally needed to appease other people and get sheep, at which point you lead the sheep back to bo peep.

Some veterans might be minorly annoyed by the lack of "examine" or "X" rather than "look at", but that might just be me being lazy. I would reccommend that this be the game you choose to sit down with a friend who has never played IF before, and play togther as you introduce new people into the IF genre.

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