If you ask people what their one superpower would be, a vast proportion of them would say that they would love to be able to fly; well, it seems that this deep desire stretches to farmyard animals as well. Sky Cowing outs you in charge of the legendary cow ‘Burlina’, who is defying the rules of nature and wants to sail through the air with a parachute strapped to her back to ensure a safe landing, in order for her to be able to get back in the air and do it all again!
When you start the game, you are greeted by a hail of banjo music that is interspersed with random, “Mooos!!” The greeting screen has very bright colours and you immediately want to start pressing things; go for the ‘Farm Stuff’ button and you will be taken through five chapters of the in depth history, storyline and heroes that make up the Sky Cowing saga; oh yes, like any extreme sport these guys take Sky Cowing very seriously indeed.
There is also a detailed ‘How To’ page which takes you through all of the instructions as to how to control your cow in the various levels, telling you which is good food (hay bales, flowers) and which is bad food (crisp packets); yep, your cow is hungry, even when airborne.
So, to begin. The first form of play is ‘Cowing In The Wind’, where you see Burlina lifted high up into the air by the bunch of helium-filled balloons that she’s holding, then as soon as she lets go, she’s sent hurtling through the sky with goggles and a grin set firmly in place. You tilt the iPhone from side to side to move her from one side of the screen to the other, getting her to avoid the floating crisp packets and chomp on any floating goodies such as nourishing food, balloons and helium tanks that lift her up and the helpful (and remarkably strong!) bird that will give Burlina an extra boost. Good food accrues points, bad food takes them away; if you hit any natural disasters like a random tornado, you are sent flying to the other side of the screen and you can also catch a cold from certain allergy-inducing flowers that litter the air as well as floating anchors that suddenly gain weight if you grab on to them.. Tap the screen at any point to pause the game; when the ‘time thermometer’ falls to empty, your time is up and Burlina parachutes to safety to count her score.
‘Cowing In A Dream’ is a slightly different kettle of fish; Burlina is dreaming and elevated by a cloud up into the night sky; she soon falls off and slumbers her way through the air, trying to stay in the land of nod for as long as possible. This can be aided by collecting the white daffodils that float through the sir, but if she eats too many black flowers, she will be rudely awoken by her ticking alarm clock. She can also collect all sorts of weird and wonderful bites along the way, such as size-changing mushrooms and potions that make Burlina, quite literally, spin out. Oh, and there are paparazzi out to photograph Burlina while she’s in flight. Obviously.
All in all, Sky Cowing is an utterly bonkers but brilliantly addictive game that will quite happily relieve you of your spare time; it’s easy enough to get the hang of but challenging enough to keep you hooked, searching for that elusive perfect score; a dollar well spent, we say.
The graphics are really sharp and it really is a pleasure to play, especially with the plethora of weird and wonderful objects floating through the sky.
The sound effects are pretty entertaining; in ‘Cowing In A Dream’ mode you’ll almost want to eat a black flower to hear that great big, “Moooo!!”
I love the pig that pops up and plays Wagner’s ‘Ride Of The Valkyries’ in ‘Cowing In The Wind’!
Room For Improvement
‘Cowing In A Dream’ doesn’t seem to last very long, although this could say more about my skill as a Sky Cower than the actual game itself!