Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Edition
Developer: Aardman Animations
Publisher: Greenlight Games
Genre: Party, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: 3
Release Date: 18/10/2019
A code was provided for review purposes
Being a parent I am well versed in the lore of both Shaun the Sheep, that cheeky little scamp Timmy, and the lovable lump that is Shirley. Yet I never expected to find myself playing a video game staring these three fluffy guys. Yet here I am, August 2020, and I am about to write a review of just that game.
So, how did I find my time playing around in the barnyard? Did I enjoy myself as part of the flock, or was this title a black sheep best forgotten? Keep reading to find out.
Let the Wooly Shenanigans Begin
Now you might wonder just how much hi-jinx a few sheep could cause. Anybody who has watched the TV shows will know exactly what sort of mischief these barnyard troublemakers can find themselves in. But how would that translate to a game?
Well, the answer is, oddly well. Before you read any further you must first promise me that you will take your adulting hat off. Cast your mind back to the days of your youth. To a time when things were simpler. When all is said and done, Home Sheep Home is a kids’ game. As such I must review it with that in mind.
From a visual perspective, the game is fun and colourful. It manages to do this by sticking to a nice pastel colour base. I thought this was a nice touch, especially given that kids will be playing this and an overflow of vibrant colours can be quite the overload for young minds.
The game’s audio is pretty weak if I am being honest. Especially for a game with such a youthful base. You get the classic Shaun tune played at the start of a level but for the rest, you get just basic sound effects. Hooves stamping on the ground, boxes moving, water splashing. It’s basic and simple. I mean, it works, but it does leave everything feeling a little hollow.
Why Did the Sheep Cross the Road?
Because they were a woolly jumper or some other sheep-based punch line.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised by this game. Not only did it look cute, but the puzzles, while straight forward, were entertaining. They operated on a mild difficulty curve which, for me as an adult provided no real head-scratching moments, but a few nods of appreciation, while my inner child was enjoying the mechanics and the way each sheep had a particular skill set that needed to be used.
There was something quite comical at stacking up the sheep in order to make high jumps, and seeing Shirley flying through the air after you blow her up with a TNT crate was oddly entertaining. The puzzles were presented across five different stages, and while they varied in terms of setting, all had one single requirement. Get all three sheep from the left-hand side of the screen to the right.
Every Sheep Has a Role to Play
You got to walk, crawl, jump, and swim. Move your sheep into position to press buttons, release magnets, or cause explosions that help propel your woolly buddies into position. There was no real storyline to think of, but for a kid playing the game, the fun is in solving the individual puzzles, and the small victories that lie along the way.
Now, it also deserves a quick mention that the Switch version of Home Sheep Home is the party version meaning you can play with multiple other players and take on the game. I gave this a quick try with my niece but she’s not a big gamer and for some reason wasn’t overly up to speed with the lore of Shaun the Sheep. It was a fun experience, but nothing special, and nothing that I am itching to try again. Next time I have some friends over, I think we will be reaching for several other party games before this one comes to the top of the list.
Airing Your Dirty Laundry in Public
The game follows the classic approach that so many puzzle games do, offering a star rating based on completion speed and collectibles found.
In this game, there were several different collectibles scattered around the levels. Most of them were some form of a sock. I can only assume these were clean ones, but in any case, grabbing them was often a simple affair, but now and then even I encountered one that just seemed to elude capture. There were some other collectibles in certain levels, such as cupcakes or cassette players, but much like the socks, there was no real benefit of collecting them. You got no gameplay advantage for collecting these things.
Learn Your Green Cross Code
Some games are made for multiple playthroughs. Whether you are talking speedrunning, platinum trophies or just because the story pulls you in so deep you just need to revisit it from time to time. Home Sheep Home, however, it not one of those titles. One of the core components of the green cross code is to close those gates, and that’s the best thing you can do with this title. Sure, let the sheep out to play but once it’s over, close, bolt and lock that gate to make sure they stay in the pasture with the rest of the flock.
Not Quite the Black Sheep
Home Sheep Home is a strange game to judge. I said at the start that I was going to review this from the perspective of the target audience and I think it holds up ok. It’s far from perfect, and I think the game could have done a little better, especially with the soundtrack. That said, I didn’t hate my time playing the game. I never felt enthralled or pulled into the world, but I smiled from time to time and didn’t pass every level at the first time of asking.
In short, I have played many worse games of this ilk and while that may not sound like great praise, it is meant with a more earnest tone than you may have read.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can grab your copy of Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Edition from the Nintendo eShop today.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.