Draw lines to navigate a shopping cart-riding heifer through a series of obstacle courses.
Shopping carts are sturdy vehicles that carry many items: cantaloupe, small children, family-sized toilet paper packages, or a few pounds of ground chuck. But replace that plastic-wrapped beef with an actual, living, goggles-wearing cow, and you’ve successfully visualized the new line-drawing game, Cart Cow.
The goal is simple. Lazy Linda, a lost cow looking to get home, and fast, pilots an ordinary shopping cart through obstacle courses. You must draw lines on the screen that’ll serve as a track for Linda to follow. Guide her in one piece to the flagpole at the end, and move on to the next stage. (The trick is to keep her touching the flagpole long enough to raise the flag. If she keeps rolling around and fails to stop at the pole, you won’t beat the level.)
But, here’s the thing. In case you couldn’t have guessed, a cow stuffed in a shopping cart, careening at top speeds and often out of control, is not exactly a task that’s done with finesse. Especially considering the fact that Linda has a lot of things working against her: cacti and rolling boulders scattered about, for example, or malevolent, laser-shooting aliens. That’s why it’s your job to strategically place lines on the screen to roll your bovine buddy safely (though not always smoothly) to the level exit.
The game’s a breeze to figure out, and there’re no cluttered displays or superfluous instructions that slow down gameplay. Instead, simply use your creativity and problem-solving skills to reach the goal. And it’s not always about drawing a ramp for Linda to ride along. Sometimes, you’ll have to fashion arcs in midair to swing a falling boulder and change its path to knock down a wall that blocks your way.
Eventually, you’ll start running into power-ups that Linda can use to her benefit, like the firework. When you press the big red button at the bottom of the screen, it will explode, launching Linda to heights only a contraband Roman candle could blast her to. These types of new challenges are well-placed throughout the game—not too early, and not too late. It’s just the right pace to hold your interest.
Honestly, there’s not much to dislike about this game. Perhaps the line-drawing mechanic is a little too good, however. Supersensitive, even the most miniscule bump on a line could screech Linda to a halt, forcing you to start the level over. Not that losing is necessarily a bad thing in this game. Poor Linda gets the cheese knocked out of her if she crashes into something, which, let’s face it, is pretty funny, especially when a surly mountain goat sends the bug-eyed Holstein flying out of her cart with a well-timed kick.
Overall, Cart Cow combines the fun of line-drawing games with the impish thrill of cow tipping. Good, clean, crazy, cattle-themed fun, this is a solid title that will appeal to fans of the genre, and anybody looking for a game that’s as polished as it is goofy.