Look at this cute game. Look at these fuzzy little sheepies. Look at how your four year old is reveling at having blocked everyone and now her vicious blue sheep are ravaging the landscape with their ferocious appetite for pasture.
We love this game. It’s the first one where our youngest feels included and we don’t want to start a suicide cult in order to escape another round (ahem, Candy Land).
Not that this is simply a kid’s game. Beneath those cute appearances those sheep have fangs. And edged weapons. And hearts filled with the darkest hate of a Doomknight. Or perhaps I’m describing what my pink pony loving daughter has turned into. It’s confusing and I’m so beleaguered from merciless defeat.
Battle Sheep is a tough game with incredibly simple rules. Players take turns laying 4 tiles that constitute the overall board. They then each set a stack of hefty sheep tokens on an edge space and proceed to eat up the pasture one hexagon at a time.
It all starts out so innocent and simple, but within a few moves the errors in judgement you have made are apparent and you’re backed into a corner and blocked by conspiring children who are laughing gleefully.
This game has the feel of classics like Checkers or Go without the abstraction. The sheep are real, the pasture is limited. One of the beautiful parts of this game is the simplicity. There is a modular game board which means high re-playability and an opportunity for players to get creative (or silly, or challenging) with the board design.
The box inlay is perfect. There are slots for all of the tokens and at a glance you can tell if all of the pieces are there or if one fell under the couch or if you will need to examine your beloved family pet’s bowel movements for a few days. This perfect box also means set-up and clean-up not only take a moment but can be accomplished by children.
What makes this gem even more rare is that you’re just as likely to pull this game out with a group of adults. Although adults might have more strategy, I’m not certain whether the young or old are filled with more distilled sheepish evil.
Kids say: “Baaaaaaaa.”
- Set up: Easy, fast.
- Rules: Simple. Can be read in a minute and explained in a breath.
- Interactivity: Kid friendly. They can set it up and put it away and there’s no fiddly components or precarious game board.
- Is it fun?: Tremendously, with any age group.
- Learning moments: Don’t turn your back. Even if she is wearing a dress-up princess outfit (complete with tiara).
- Re-playability: High. We keep coming back to it. And games play out FAST. Which means you’ve barely been conquered before you are half way through round 2.
- Should you buy it: Yes! It’s fun with all ages. Kids love it. And, at minimum, it’s a fantastic palate-cleanser for adults in between rounds of Death Angel and other bleak joys for big people.
- Publisher: Blue Orange Games
- Ages: box says 7+, but we play 4+ just fine
- Play time: 15 minutes. If it’s an adults only game you may want a game timer to prevent it from turning into grandmaster chess.
- Where to buy?: Your local game store. Or anywhere online. It’s pretty easy to find.