A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a very clean, non-offensive game with characters that are true to animator Nick Park's creation. But the adventure doesn't last long enough to warrant the price.
What's it about?
Animator Nick Park, creator of the beloved clay animation characters Wallace & Gromit, has a new project: Shaun the Sheep a short-form animated series that appears on the Disney Channel. This curious young sheep now has his own video game as well. SHAUN THE SHEEP gets the Nintendo DS treatment with a slight but humorous adventure game that centers upon the bug-eyed mammal's somewhat daunting task of rounding up sheep that have run away from the farm.
Gameplay is quite simple. You move Shaun through various farm locations via the DS stylus and touch objects on the screen in an effort to find the sheep. Sometimes, you'll be asked to blow into the DS microphone to make something happen. Bits of simple-to-read text occasionally pop up to tell you how to examine objects or how to, say, get Shaun to jump on a trampoline. Sometimes, you'll have to search the farm for a key or a toy to unlock a new area in the game. You'll also have to find chicks and return them to their mama hen for various rewards which, humorously, fall from a nearby tree, including even the occasional sheep.
Is it any good?
It's all very cute and intermittently funny. It's a fine concept, except the game's too darn short and repetitive. Plus, you have to retrace your steps so much, that the game becomes boring. The addition of mini games doesn't help much because they aren't very imaginative. With the Whack-A-Mole style game, you must blow into the microphone to get the moles to jump out of their holes before you tap them with the stylus. There's a music game that asks you, with your stylus, to flick away the bad notes on a guitar fret board that are yellow in color. There's a very standard soccer game, too.
Although the graphics are generally above average and the humor is occasionally rich, Shaun doesn't shine brightly enough. The Shaun the Sheep character is well thought out in the TV program. The poor guy deserves much better than this. And so do consumers.
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