Developed By: Kyle Thompson Published By: Top Hat Studios Categories: Platformer, Metroidvania Release Date: 10.20.21
Sheepo is the kind of game I was drawn to by the key art and a single screenshot. It looked nice, it looked sleek and artsy. I dig that in a platformer. I didn’t quite expect a Metroidvania for some reason because I cannot into research. This thankfully is not a derivative Metroidvania, far from one infact.
Consider this, a Metroidvania without combat. Yes, you have health, and yes there are boss fights, but you never hit back. It’s like it’s a twitch based platformer mixed with a Metroidvania. You know, without the soul crushing difficulty. Sheepo outside of a few boss fights is relatively easygoing infact. So how do you access these new areas, if you’re not using new weapons like in a Metroid?
After outsmarting or outmaneuvering the occasional boss fight, they’ll drop an egg. See, our lead Sheepo needs to collect these eggs to save the species on an uncharted planet from extinction. Touching these eggs however, it does something special. It gives Sheepo the power to morph into the animals of those eggs on contact. This is only temporary however. Dig, Fly, Swing, Teleport? Each of these animals have their own ability to use.
Despite these all being temporary, it doesn’t feel like a huge challenge when you have them, they’re always placed in the right spot to get you where you need to be, or if not, are next to another animal to morph into, resseting the timer. It feels good to use these transformations, as brief as they are. Movement period in Sheepo feels great. It’s smooth, quick, and I never once felt like I’d over or undershoot a jump. Considering how quick and precise boss fights require you at times, this is very important.
You’ll see feathers around. Collect those, they’re gonna be your currency for a few things. It might be a challenge for a few of these, and
Soothing is a good term to describe how it feels to play Sheepo. Calm, relaxing, ambience with it’s music. Warm colors, clean graphics. There’s even a art exhibit in the game that’s there just to show off cool effects. I feel genre wide, Metroidvanias are usually fantastic at making you feel alone, but not lonely or lost with the feel or mood, and Sheepo is no different. It feels majestic at times.
Though, I wouldn’t exactly say this is a non-violent game, it is refreshing to to play games, especially in a genre that is mostly incredibly violent, that doesn’t let you just kill everything you see. Movement feels good. Speedrunning, a genre staple, feels good. Sheepo is a game you should definitely play.
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*Game Download Code graciously supplied for the purpose of review