Is the game “Sheep A Sheep” playable?
If we say that a light-hearted art style, a brainwashing BGM, a clear reward and punishment mechanism and a painful yet enjoyable gaming experience are the addictive properties of games, then what really makes “Sheep A Sheep” so popular beyond the gaming circle should be attributed to the viral marketing of the developers behind the game, who are well versed in the laws of online communication.
“Sheep A Sheep” doesn’t have the topic sensitivity of “Genshin Impact” or the social influence of “Honor of Kings”, which is often criticised as “mental poison”. It doesn’t even have much gameplay or playability.
But it is precisely this kind of game, where “the real test of intelligence is how long it can take you to realise you are being played”, that has become a hit.
“Sheep A Sheep’s” viral spread and explosion of popularity reveals a certain foci of the current era.
Three years into the pandemic, big manufacturers have laid off many employees and various industries are caught in growth bottlenecks. “Lie flat, slack off, the working life” has become the mantra of the younger generation, and restricted mobility and reduced entertainment have become the new norm.
The world is not worth it and expectations are meaningless. The harmless “Sheep A Sheep” came out of nowhere just like that, pressing the right buttons and evoking curiosity. Most importantly, the user can kill time with a few bitter smiles during several, dozens or even hundreds or thousands of meaningless loops.
Yes, the only cost to the user is the time spent watching ads.
Where education, employment, marriage and housing anxieties are reduced to nothing with three by three of the same cartoon pattern, there are none of life’s unknown surprises. Even if there are jumpscares, they are only virtual.
Here, “Go XX Province” is no longer a slogan for the whole community, but a harmless cheer in an empty world, constantly teasing players’ psychology of regional competitiveness and desire for territorial protection.
Here, the social currency is not a frisbee or a fancy car or a watch, but a mere digital sheep. And it is hard to guarantee that you are not a code-carrying bionic robot in front of the screen.
In a traditional physical game, for example, even the most intricate maze and complex Rubik’s cube always have a solution to them, which is the competitive end of the game. The second level of “Sheep A Sheep” is likely to be a purely random arrangement, an unsolvable mathematical problem with deliberately skewed data, according to the practical evidence of many players.
It is also possible that the “pass” that players have been so intent on pursuing is just a blank cheque.
This directly destroys the logical basis of “Sheep A Sheep” as a game, reducing it to a purely commercial machine for profit and circulation.
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