Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Party Edition
Shaun the Sheep might not be a household name across the world, but most British fans should be very familiar with the mischievous Ovis aries. Initially a spin-off from the popular Wallace and Gromit franchise, Shaun the Sheep has gone on to star in a couple of things of his own. Home Sheep Home started as a Flash game that could be played for free online, but Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon Party Edition is the paid version that has seen quite a improvements and name changes over the years.
In this game, Shaun is joined by Shirley as well as Timmy as the trio makes their way from the farm to the underground, London, and even space. Shaun is the leader of the group and runs a little faster as well as jumps a little higher than the rest. Shirley is large, slow, and can’t jump very high, but she can move large objects that are too heavy for the other two. Timmy is bar far the smallest of the lot, but this enables him to fit through smaller gaps and reach areas that are inaccessible to the rest. To progress through the levels players will have to use the strengths of all three sheep to solve puzzles and ensures that they reach the exits. No sheep can be left behind and losing a sheep down a bottomless pit means instant failure. Players old enough to remember The Lost Vikings by Silicon & Synapse will be familiar with the play-style.
Don’t let the fact that you are in control of three sheep fool you either as they can get into much more mischief than you might expect. From using dynamite to propel themselves across levels to traversing moving cars on a freeway, there’s nothing the sheep won’t do to get to where they want to be. We were actually surprised by how unique each level is and the game rarely expects the same thing from you twice. Players can earn up to three stars per level depending on how quick and efficient they are, but there are also other optional challenges to aim for. These range from collecting the socks that are usually tucked away in hard to reach spots to finding the cleverly hidden joysticks that unlock bonus levels. Some of the Steam Achievements also requires players to complete levels in unexpected or more challenging ways, which is neat. However, despite all of this, Home Sheep Home is still a rather short game, and completing it can be done in less than four hours, depending on how thorough you are. In fact, it even has a built-in hint system that shows players step by step how to complete a level, but this should only be used as a last resort.
Unlike the claymation style of the television shows and movie, Home Sheep Home has opted for a hand-drawn visual style. Nevertheless, this looks really good and gives the impression of a children’s book. The levels are all single-screen affairs and packs just enough visual detail to keep things interesting, but never goes overboard. The animations are also fairly basic, but this doesn’t detract from the experience. The audio is decent, but unspectacular while the controls are simple and responsive. The sheep can move left or right and jump while stuff like switches is activated simply by standing on them. The fact that the controls are so simple is useful as two other players can join you and take control of the sheep. This is for local co-op only and means you don’t have to manually swap between sheep like when playing alone. The party component of the game also features some fun for two to four players as they take part in a series of mini-games hosted by the alien Lu-La. These games are pretty basic, such as outrunning a giant hay bale but can be a lot of fun with the right friends. Once again the multiplayer component of the game is local only and not online.
The “Farmageddon Party Edition” of the game appears to be the content from the older versions of the game along with some new multiplayer stuff based on the movie of the same name. We had a lot of fun with the game, but it’s not without flaws. The physics-based puzzles in particular can go wrong and leave you stranded on a level that can’t be completed anymore. While it is easy enough to instantly restart the level the game doesn’t tell you if a puzzle is unsolvable anymore, which can be annoying. This isn’t too big an issue, though, and players who are really stuck can take a peek at some of the built-in hints to get back on track. It’s a pity that the multiplayer elements are not online, but whether you play solo or gather around a few friends there are at least a few evenings of entertaining to be found in this game.
- OS: Windows 10: 32 or 64-bit
- Processor: Core 2 Duo (1.8GHz – although we have tested back to a Pentium 4 and it was playable)
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Graphics: It will work on all forms of GPU via the software rendering fallback (including Intel GMA and other on-board variants).
- Storage: 700 MB available space