Clouds and Sheep 2 Review
It’s not every day you load up a new game and the first task asked of you is to ‘poke’ a sheep. But that’s exactly how Clouds and Sheep 2 begins.
This is the sequel to – unsurprisingly – Clouds and Sheep, a game released exclusively on mobile platforms. Mobile games are overwhelmingly designed to be distraction – something to be played on the bus or in the queue at the Post Office – so how can a game specifically built for mobile translate to a powerful home console. When it comes to Clouds and Sheep 2, the results are somewhat mixed.
Developed by Handy Games, Clouds and Sheep 2 is a hard game to define. It’s part sheep simulator, part farm simulator and part comedy. And yet there is a very loose plot to the game – to find the fabled fountain of youth.
The game starts, very much as expected, in a field next to a farm. Working through the tutorials with your buddy sheep (aptly named Buddy), the basic mechanics are introduced and you’ll have a few sheep to tend to in no time.
Caring for your sheep is just one of many responsibilities of the game. You’ll be tasked with feeding them, ensuring they’re warm, and getting out the shears to stock up on wool. This forms one of four basic supplies that you need to progress further through the game. Along with wool, you’ll need to grow trees for timber, pick flower petals, and ensure your sheep are happy to be rewarded with stars.
Just how do you keep sheep happy? Happiness levels can be boosted in several ways. You can pluck your sheep off the ground and throw them through the air – a pastime they seem to enjoy. Or grab hold of their tails and, with a swift pull, send them rolling around the environment in comedic fashion. All this is funny for a while, but to progress and see results, you need to have your fingers in several pies at once.
Once you have several sheep, they become very demanding. The more you tend to them, the more experience you gain. In turn this unlocks new areas for your sheep on the quest for the fountain of youth. With each new area comes different items to unlock and the higher your experience, you guessed it, the more items available.
We found after reaching level 8 it was a struggle to pick up experience, so we turned to the game’s quests to continue our progress. These start off simple enough, though soon each becomes a waiting game – for example, ‘collect X number of stars’. Don’t let quests distract you, though – leave your sheep unattended for too long and they will pass on to the farmyard in the sky.
The titular clouds play a somewhat lesser part in proceedings. You can form clouds to make rain, lightning and snow. Whilst the rain delivers much needed water for basic growing, the other features seem somewhat limited.
This is where the game doesn’t translate terribly well from its mobile roots. Clouds and Sheep 2 feels designed to pick up and play for ten, fifteen minutes during your daily commute, lunch break, or to take a quick trip around the farm before bed. It’s not designed (although there’s nothing stopping you) for multi-hour sessions in front of the TV. And that’s where Clouds and Sheep 2 reaches that cliff edge familiar to anyone who has played enough mobile games. It oozes charm and delivers fetching, characterful and crisp graphics, and has, to an extent, the power to draw you back much in the way Farmville once did many moons ago. But when you run low on materials to build further, you don’t want to have to sit and wait, or continuously toss your sheep through the air.
Clouds and Sheep 2 is filled with charm, it has the basic mechanics nailed, and it’s a fun experience. There’s a strong progression system for those with the time and patience to get the best out of it. On one hand, it feels much more of a title for the younger generation. But then, not all kids will have the patience necessary to get the best out of Clouds and Sheep 2. It still translates well for an older audience with judicious use of slapstick humour but, ultimately, it’s an experience that may be best left to mobile devices.
Clouds and Sheep 2 is available from the Store, priced £7.99.
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