The original Home Sheep Home was good enough to earn a BAFTA nomination, a decent puzzler with a quirky sense of humour, and the sequel has been kicking around the App Store for a while now. Does it have the same madcap magic of the original? Or is it no more satisfying than a luke-warm doner kebab?
How does it play?
Players are tasked with herding three sheep – Shaun, Timmy and Shirley – through forty levels of puzzles and pitfalls. Each of the sheep have different sizes and abilities; for instance one can jump high, another can squeeze through small gaps, and another is just really fat. What are they feeding you back at the farm, Shirley?
You have to coordinate all these talents together so the sheep can safely traverse one end of the level to the next. Sheep-stacking is the order of the day, so that they can give each other a leg-up for difficult to reach platforms, or using their collective weight as a lever on a seesaw. And since this is an Aardman product, all the puzzles and obstacles are shot through with a special brand of slapstick.
One level has the sheep jumping across car rooftops on a busy motorway, where the fat one keeps bashing into speed cameras, and Shaun stops to have his picture taken. Elsewhere, the sheep find themselves in Australia, where literally everything is upside down, and players have to contend with an inverted perspective (or they could just flip their touchscreen 180 degrees).
The adventures are spread across three themed stages, with two of them taking place in underground caverns and the streets of London, whilst the third promises to take the sheep into space but it hasn't yet been released. Hopefully this will be a free update and not an in-app purchase.
Why do we like it?
Home Sheep Home 2 wisely chooses to broaden its scope from the previous game, taking the sheep on adventures in far-flung locations away from the farm. The puzzles themselves remain fiendishly clever, but the change of scenery provides a great excuse for more action props and inventive comedy. A level in Buckingham Palace, for example, has the trio bouncing on the black hats of the Queen's Guard.
Developer Mobile Pie have done a sterling job of translating the wit of the TV show (currently on hiatus, unfortunately) to a different medium. And nor are they afraid to break out of the conventional puzzle framework to occasionally provide an amusing aside. The bit with the parachutes was especially fun.
Will there be a Home Sheep Home 3? They'd be baaaaaa-rking mad not to.
Home Sheep Home 2 is available now on the App Store (69p)