Divide By Sheep (PC) (2015)

Overview: With a bit of math and trial-and-error, toss animals (such as sheep and wolves) from one platform to the next and rescue just the right amount. Some sheep will be cut by lasers. Some sheep will be eaten by wolves. And some sheep will suffer some other awful fate. But some will live.

Simple puzzle. Get the sheep to the rescue boat (2, 4, then 6)

I saw a trailer of this game prior to purchasing the Humble Bundle and this game alone was a strong incentive to buy the bundle. This time, rather than make a purchase and forgetting to play, I decided to take action and play Divide By Sheep. Actually it might not be a bad idea for me to ensure I play at least one game from each bundle I purchased.

In any case, at first I thought I would find the game boring, but the puzzles gradually got more difficult and the next thing I knew I had finished the first world; I was hooked. In fact I would have kept on playing as long as Ada was still working, but she finished and then we watched some television together.

Simple pictorial instructions. Sheep get cut, sheep get repaired, and wolves are content with half slices.

Speaking of which, as we decided on what to watch, I told her about the game. I told her it's a game that uses math and the goal is to divide up the sheep. From what I said, she jokingly asked if that meant dividing the sheep up as a group or in pieces. To which I responded with a smile, both.

Setup: The game has a parental control option (to avoid the blood) but I didn't turn it on.

Tip: While I'll leave most of the rules of the game for the player to discover, I would like to explain the flag icon that might pop up in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. It shows up when a star is achieved and the player can click it to end the level content with the (one or two) stars they've collected thus far.

Steam Game Time: 55 minutes

+ (Darkly) humorous
+ Clever (and often difficult) puzzles
+ Nice flow of new puzzle mechanics

~ Trial-and-error required

~ Instructions for new puzzle mechanics are delivered via simple, text-free graphics; so part of the game is figuring out the rules

This might set PETA's progress back several years. I never knew cutting up sheep with lasers could be so cute.

Joking aside, this game does a great job at blending humor and logic. With that being said, the game eventually introduces a puzzle mechanic which will divide animal groups into two halves (with the odd man going to the "dominant" half indicated by an arrow). This particular mechanic may be a possible barrier from a logical standpoint for kids who have yet to learn division (fourth grade).

TNT. Clearly this means the TNT will explode when sheeps leave.

While I have little experience with children's abilities to tackle such puzzles, I have watched my little cousin try and play various video games and being unable to get past the first part of the game (e.g., Super Mario Galaxy, Spider-Man 3).* In short, I would recommend, if any children should play the game, that they be comfortable with division by 2, and that their parents turn off the gore.

*The same cousin surprised me with his ability to play Minecraft.

Divide By Sheep (PC) (2015)

This level requires rescuing a mix of wolves and sheep.

Relevant Links:
Divide By Sheep Website
Divide By Sheep (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Divide By Sheep (Steam Store Page)

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