Kulkmann's G@mebox - www.boardgame.de

Sheepy Time

[Sheepy Time]

Neil Kimball

Alderac Entertainment Group

No. of Players:



G@mebox author Lutz Wildt writes about the game:

For all of you that can't find into sleep after a hectic and stressful day, there is a whole bunch of home remedies to try. My grandmother always recommended hot milk with honey, but valerian and lavender in all possible forms are also very popular. I can say that I've tried them all, but the only thing that ever helped was counting sheep! When these woolly hops jump over the fence so uniformly, one can only fall asleep. But have you ever wondered how the sheep do that excactly? I mean jumping over the fence? I once made it my business to find an answer. And finally, after some nerve-racking researches and all-nighters, I was able to find the secret. The answer is: Sheepy Time by Neil Kimball published by ALDERAC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP. Only if enough players play Sheepy Time, there will be a wonderful nocturnal peace on the hemisphere of earth. To let you particpate in this secret, I will now explain the most important rules:

[Sheepy Time]

Click on image to enlarge!

In Sheepy Time, players take on the role of a dream sheep each that is counted by people in order to fall asleep. Each time players manage to get their sheep to hop over the fence, they make it easier for someone to fall asleep. Of course this will be rewarded by victory points. The sheep are moved around a circular playing field of 10 squares by playing one of two hand cards that indicate the number of steps a sheep is allowed to take. If by this a sheep manages to get over the fence, players receive five winks (victory points) and have to decide whether to try another round or call it a night.

But, why should someone call it a night (finishing the round and pass)? I should probably mention the evil Nightmare, a wreaking havoc element in the game, permanently trying to scare the sheep on their rounds. This Nightmare is moved by special Nightmare Cards that are shuffled into the draw pile. Each time a hand card is drawn by a player, it might be a nightmare card resulting in a movement of the Nightmare. A sheep is a sheep, so if the nightmare comes to a space with a sheep, this sheep will be scared. And If a sheep is frightened for a second time, the cared for person wakes up and all winks collected up to that point are lost again. This also happens if the nightmare manages to jump over the fence.

Only sheep that have already called it a night night will let their persons sleep. The winks collected up to that point are safe for the players and let their pillows move toward zero on the scoreboard at the end of the round. At the beginning of the game, players' pillows starts on the 40, but depending on the winks collected in one round it moves several steps on the board. For example, in a four-player game, the pillow for the player with the most winks lands on the scoreboard at 30, while the second player may only decrease to 32, the third to 34, and so on.

After each round of play, the winks markers are reset to zero. So knowing when to call it a night is quite important in Sheepy Time . In this context, it is worth mentioning how the game will be won. Not the player who collects the most winks and also not the player who brings his pillow to zero first wins the game. The winner is the player who reaches his cushion on the scoreboard in one round of play, or the one who can move it the furthest beyond it. The path to victory gets shorter and shorter with each round.

[Sheepy Time]

Click on image to enlarge!

So far, a lot has been written about sheep and nightmares. But there are also normal dreams and zzzz's in this game. And they are very helpful, just like in real life. At the beginning of the game, there are already two dreams right next to the fields 5 and 10. More dreams or Zzzz tokens can be placed by the players when a game round has ended. Either they place a dream on any free space of the board and place the Zzzz Token of their color indicated on it, or they may place 2 Zzzz Tokens on dreams already exposed on the board. If a player lands their sheep on a space that has a dream with a Zzzz Token of their color on it, they can use that dream. This will trigger a wide variety of effects.

For example, an already frightened sheep can be calmed down again or a sheep may move additional steps. If things go well, even combinations can be found that move a sheep once around the entire playing field. As with any good push-your-luck game, not much happens in Sheepy Time during the first few turns, regardless of the number of players. However, with each successive round it becomes more and more exciting as you see how the other players deal with the risk of waking up. You will also discover the possibilities offered by using your dreams. These also become more extensive from round to round. Sometimes you even accept that your sheep is frightened, just to use the dream that lets a frightened sheep move seven fields.

[Sheepy Time]

Click on image to enlarge!

The sheep theme quickly leads the viewer to conclude that Sheepy Time is a children's game, but that's not the case at all. Of course, it's not a hardcore strategy game either, not a wolf in sheep's clothing, so to speak. Besides, I can say that nobody fell asleep while playing so far. On the contrary, it's quite exciting to be a dream sheep and make sure that someone sleeps peacefully! In order to support the restful night's sleep of my fellow humans, I will definitely get Sheepy Time on the table regularly in the future! However, this is not an exclusively altruistic matter. It's just a lot of fun to play Sheepy Time and run away from the nightmares.

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