While it’s true that the iPhone is a great platform for games with simple concepts that provide short bursts of gameplay, it’s also that iPhone gamers have become accustomed to more robust experiences. And while every game that appears on the App Store isn’t necessarily an epic, sprawling adventure, even Doodle Jump gives users new skins and modes in order to keep the experience fresh.
Cows vs Aliens from XMG Studio is no doubt a simple game. And there is nothing wrong with simplicity. It’s just that there’s not a lot of game here. The basic mechanics never change and there is very little in terms of variety. And while there is nothing “wrong” with the game, per se, there are dozens of games on the App Store with more to offer for your money.
In Cows vs Aliens, the object is to use your fingers to corral as many cows as you can into the barn as quickly as possible, while making sure the pesky aliens don’t enter the barn. The moment you let an alien in, it’s game over. The play field itself consists of an open pasture, the barn, and cliffs on either side. You’ll want to knock the aliens over the cliffs, though inevitably a few cows will topple over with them.
As you wrangle more cows into the barn, not only will your score increase, but your time will be extended as well. This adds an additional element to the game as you’ll encounter the “Game Over” screen not just by letting in the aliens, but by being too slow to rescue the cows.
And that, my friends, is the game. Yes, there are a couple different varieties of cows – some of which move more quickly to the barn – and the aliens seem to move more aggressively toward the barn as time goes on. In addition, you’ll find that using two or more fingers to manipulate groups of cows works more effectively. But that is basically all there is to Cows vs Aliens. Again, it’s not a bad game at all, but if the developers had tossed in a few items or mixed up the behavior of the cows and aliens a bit, perhaps its longevity would be increased beyond short gameplay sessions.
Bottom Line: Cows vs Aliens is a simple time-killer with little variety to keep gamers coming back.
Cows vs Aliens is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.