Help Shaun home
Chillingo struck gold with the licence of everyone's favourite sheep in Home Sheep Home (earning themselves a BAFTA nomination in the process) and now the Wallace and Gromit star is back with Timmy and Shirley in tow in the sequel.
The story remains simple; yet again, the three sheep have found themselves overcoming obstacles on the way home from their latest adventure. Jumping over gaps, swimming over lakes and crossing building sites are all in a day's work to get home to the farm. Cue a series of single screen puzzles to solve in order to get from one side to the other.
Home Sheep Home 2 doesn't deviate much from the first game, and rightly so. The original's only real faults were the controls and the meagre number of levels. This game bumps the level count up to 40 and adds a nifty bunch of collectable items for those looking for an extra challenge.
While the collectables are optional, the game increases the difficulty level for the puzzles as well, but not by much. It still presents a nice learning curve that won't put first timers off, which is just as well considering the possible target audience. While some may end up scratching their head once the initial run of hints disappear, there is always a clear path and a bit of trial and error will see you through.
The three sheep all have different strengths and weaknesses; Shirley can push things, but can't jump very high or swim, Shaun can jump high but is weaker and little Timmy is small enough to fit through gaps but can't reach very high. Through teamwork they can overcome the odds and it's this use of all three wooly stars together that players will make it to the other side of the screen and a step closer to home.
Artwork is the star here. Designed by Aardman Animation, there is a distinct hint of children's picture book to the art style, but in a way that both children and adults will love. Backgrounds are never cluttered, leaving the pathway to your goal as obvious as possible. Only the lack of music during the game itself (there are hints of the Shaun The Sheep Theme Tune at the start and end of a level) lets the overall presentation down slightly, though the different character noises as you select each one are unquestionably cute.
Controls have been overhauled and the simple left, right and jump, along with three portaits at the top of the screen to choose characters, work really well and make movement a simple process.
Home Sheep Home 2 takes all the parts that were good from the first game and builds on them to create an excellent puzzle game, this time providing a much more rounded package. Even without the star attraction from Aardman Animations the game would be easy to recommend to puzzle fans.
- Sound: 6
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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