Mad Cows ($0.99) by Everplay is a new spoof on an incredibly popular birds versus pigs game. However, rather than focusing on just single-player gameplay, Mad Cows has an incredibly fun turn-based multiplayer element to it that adds a refreshing spin on the genre.
Everplay has become one of my favorite iOS game developers since they released Spellsword, and they have been on a roll. Mad Cows features gorgeous, Retina-ready graphics and a fun, folk music soundtrack to go along with it. However, with prolonged play, I found myself having to turn the music off. If that type of music is your thing, though, then you should be fine with it.
There are two game modes in Mad Cows: Single Player and Multiplayer. Both modes will feature six unique farm animals that you will be flinging across the screen in a giant slingshot. Each animal will have their own unique ability that activates with a tap, such as the chicken that drops an egg bomb and bounces off of it, the goat that rapidly dashes ahead, a farting pig, exploding sheep, and splitting bunny. The cow won’t do anything special, but tapping on the screen will get you some additional points.
With the Single Player mode, there are six different areas, with 10 levels in each. Each area features one of six different livestock animals that you’ll be using, and levels will be tailored for that animal’s skill. You will have an unlimited number of animals to use at your disposal, but to earn three stars on a level, you’ll have to get rid of the targets with only one animal. The more you use, the less stars you’ll earn. Points will rack up with the destruction of each object and target.
Multiplayer gives players the option to be pitted against a random player, or you can invite a friend through Game Center. In this mode, you’ll be taking turns to see who can knock out all of the opposing targets first and get a higher score. Before each turn starts, you will get three random animal choices, but you can only pick one to use for that turn, so choose wisely and don't waste it.
I really like the multiplayer mode, as it’s definitely something new to the worn-out genre. It’s also great because it is an actual challenge — you’re fighting against a target that can fight back. The single player mode is more like practice for honing your skills for use in multiplayer games.
While the gameplay is easy, I found some game mechanics to be a bit frustrating. You won’t see the trajectory of your shot before you fire it, so it can be pretty difficult to get it right on the first try. If you fire one animal, though, you’ll be able to see the course as a dotted line, but the problem is that you don’t want to use more than one. It’s a catch–22, and the game will require a lot of patience.
Of course, since Game Center is used for multiplayer, there are also leaderboards and achievements to earn. The game also features statistics, which will feature your defeats, victories, and how many of each animal you’ve thrown. Don’t worry, with all of these features as well as multiplayer, replay value is high.
Mad Cows is a great addition to the growing collection of games from Everplay, and worth checking out if you’re into the physics-based or turn-based games. It’s also a great value at $0.99 for your iPhone and iPad.