By Madeline Ricchiuto
Tinybuild's Divided By Sheep is a Steam and iOS game that has you solving complicated math problems by flinging sheep from one island to another, and then finally onto a raft. Its a pretty fun puzzle game, with rather cutesy art and is insanely addictive.
Not only do you have to move groups of sheep between islands, you have to make sure that you send the correct number of sheep onto the raft, because too few and it won't leave – too many and it will sink. You can lessen your number of sheep by sending them to an island that has less space than you have sheep – or by throwing them to the literal wolves. Certain levels have wolves involved, who will eat any sheep that land on them. Once a wolf has eaten a sheep, he cannot be moved to another island. So when you're trying to fill a raft of wolves (which does happen), you have to be careful of how many you feed.
Honestly, the game is pretty grim when you think about it. It is the exact personification of the brutal calculus you have to play in a strategy game- sacrificing some for the good of the many – but the almost Hello Kitty-like art makes it all seem perfectly normal. And adorable. A shark will even swim by periodically to (presumably) snatch up any sheep you may have launched to their watery graves. Some of the puzzles involve throwing sheep at lasers, and then taping them back together. Because you just can't deliver half a sheep.
Of course, the premise of the game is that the Grim Reaper is attempting to make friends with the dead sheep, since he can only befriend dead things. So, the player must save them from their watery doom. So I suppose the bleakness of the game's implications shouldn't really surprise me. And yet, its still kind of terrifying because you just don't expect that from the sugary sweetness of the character designs.
I give Divided By Sheep a 8/10 for being an incredibly dark puzzle game that is perfect for sociopaths and those who hate sheep. I also really like the name.