- Designer Hisashi Hayashi
- Artist Ryo Nyamo
- Publisher Okazu Brand
- Players 2-4
- Time 20-30 min
Sheep ‘n’ Sheep is one of the new card games from the prolific Hisashi Hayashi and Ryo Nyamo. It’s deceptive simple and cute appearance belies a sharp drafting and placement game.
The cards come in 6 colors and have icons which are easily understood. Each suite of cards also has numbers 1-5. The primary information on the card gives a VP value and a symbol showing the number of same color cards in a grouping required to score it. For example, the 8 VP card requires that I have exactly 4 grey cards placed orthogonally adjacent in a group to score at the game end. Green card icons allow the drawing of an additional card. Players can score additional points for having the most heart or star icons or connected bell icon at game end as well. Each 1 VP icon adds a VP. Finally the number of cards in the height and width of the pasture are totaled and subtracted from the score. The winner has the most VP.
To play, on a turn player may draft one group of two cards from the display or place card(s) in their pasture. When playing cards into the pasture any number of cards with the same number or cards numbered in contiguous ascending or descending order. These cards must be placed in the pasture next to an existing card there which fits the pattern.
The game end is triggered when the display can no longer be filled. The round is finished and each player gets a final action.
My thoughts: Fantastic little filler that works well at two players or more. I like it because you must account for so many things when drafting, all the different ways to score as well as hindering your opponent. Also trying to maximize placement is not as easy as it sounds. I love tile placement games and this one is portable and challenging.
Thoughts from other Opinionated Gamers:
Joe Huber (4 plays): While I’ve enjoyed most of Hayashi’s larger designs, his smaller games have been hit-or-miss with me. Still, it’s been a high enough hit rate that I was happy to take a chance on the game. And I’ve been very pleased with it so far. There is plenty of room for clever play, both in placement for scoring and in placement for maximizing options for future play. As Lorna notes, it plays well with two and as a multiplayer game, increasing the opportunities to get it to the table. I need to play it more to know it’s long-term fate for me, but for now I like it, and am looking forward to playing it more.
I’ve really enjoyed Yokohama, so I might have to check this one out. Especially since you mention it plays well with 2!