Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon: Party Edition (Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

I’m a big fan of stop motion and clay animation.  I even took a class on it once back in my college years so I have a lot of respect for the folks who do that stuff for a living.  One of my favorite stop motion animation studios is Aardman.  They’ve done stuff like Creature Comforts and the Chevron car commercials, but probably their most famous work is the Wallace and Gromit series.  One of the side characters in Wallace and Gromit was a sheep named Shaun.  He was so popular that he got his own spinoff TV show and movies about his adventures on the farm with his barnyard friends.  Heck, even the youngest sheep on that show got his own preschool spinoff show called Timmy Time!  So yeah, a spinoff of a spinoff.  Anyway, now Shaun the Sheep and his fleecy friends are in their own video game: a 2-D action puzzle platformer on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

Story mode is the main part of the game and here you’ll play as Shaun, Timmy, and Shirley.  A single player can control all three of them alternately, or up to three can play each one.  Your goal in each single screen stage is to usually get them from one side of the screen to another.  Each sheep has his or her own special skills.  Shaun can jump the highest, little Timmy can squeeze into small spaces, and large Shirley can use her weight to move objects.  You can also use the sheep to jump off of one another.  There are TONS of levels, and you’ll go through places like the farm, underground caves, in London, and even outer space!  In each stage are hidden items for you to find, like socks, cupcakes, and more.  Certain items can even unlock bonus levels for you to try!  You’ll earn stars depending on how fast you solve the levels, but I don’t know what the stars do.  The other mode in the game is Party Mode.  Here up to four players will compete in single screen mini-games like a soccer match, platforming race, or squeezing between bales of hay.  Whoever wins the most matches is the champion.

The game is fun, but I had a few small problems with it.  Since the game is physics based, it can be hard to get certain objects to do what you want them to do.  And some of the puzzles get pretty tough.  Luckily you can get hints and unlimited continues, but sometimes pulling off actions is easier said than done.  I also wish the game used clay animation graphics like the show does.  The hand drawn look is still neat, but feels a bit amateurish, like this was originally a cell phone game or something.  But even so, this game has a The Lost Vikings puzzle action feel to it that I appreciated.

Kid Factor:

Home Sheep Home: Farmageddon: Party Edition is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence.  You can fall into pits and get squished, but you just poof out of existence and return right where you left off.  Reading skill is helpful for the menus and hints, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may need help with the tougher puzzles.

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