PlayStation Minis, like Xbox Live Indie Games, have been a way for smaller developers to get their games out to the masses at an affordable price. Every so often, you stumble across a game on one of these services that surprises you. Despite its best efforts, Idiot Squad is not one of those games.
This is a puzzle game that has you guiding a bunch of sheep towards a goal while rescuing other sheep in the process. The sheep you have to control move automatically, but you must control them by placing down different paths for them to follow as you attempt to lead them across the map. (Much like the ChuChu Rocket! puzzle mode.) Your goal is to collect all of the stranded sheep and lead them into the barn (the end goal for each level). As you go along, you’ll be met with many different obstacles, such as fences, holes, and farmers with guns. Each obstacle has to be dealt with in specific ways, and as you unlock more puzzles, you unlock different sheep, with each one having the ability to deal with those obstacles.
There is a lot of creativity to be found here, especially in the earlier sections of the game. As the game goes along and the puzzles get more difficult, you’ll be finding new and interesting ways to combine the abilities of the different sheep. There is a real sense of satisfaction when you solve some of the tougher levels, which is always a great sign. It takes a while for some of the puzzles to click, but with enough experimentation you’ll find that the results are very rewarding.
The biggest problem with Idiot Squad is how tedious and routine it can become. The puzzles continue to get more difficult, but once you get the hang of the mechanics, most of the later levels become less challenging and more tedious. It feels like they spread their great ideas thin so early that you aren’t left with much else by the end. There are still a few fun levels to be found here and there, but you will probably be bored of the game’s design by the time you get to them.
Idiot Squad is not exactly a bad game, just an underwhelming one. It attempts some interesting things and you might find yourself getting hooked on the basic mechanics early on, but eventually it becomes stale. If you’re desperate for a cheap puzzle game to play, this certainly isn’t your worst bet, but don’t expect it to last too long before the tedium sets in.
Pros: Some fresh ideas and addictive early levels
Cons: The gameplay becomes monotonous after a while