The story of Clouds & Sheep 2 is about the life of a flock of sheep. The main goal is to search for the pieces of a treasure map that have been ripped up by a pesky parrot. Hopefully, once the map is restored, you can find what you’re looking for… the legendary treasure: the Fountain of Youth!
Before you discard this review, thinking the premise is pretty silly, I ask you one thing: that is to give this game a chance, as it’s actually a pretty addictive sim. Looking after your flock and trying to keep them happy is a tall order at first. I found my time completing quests and doing the most mundane tasks to be quite satisfying as each successful task benefits the flock and helps you manage them better next time.
When you start off, you’ll have a single sheep. He will give you a brief tutorial on what you can do and how to go about doing it. It’s clear and to the point; each step helps you to achieve the next one. Doing while learning is the best course action here.
Each pasture area has multiple objects in it that can be moved around and interacted with by your sheep or by yourself. Like any sim, you need to make sure everyone is happy, well fed, has enough water available and keep everyone entertained. Bored sheep won’t generate any happy stars, which is one of the main required materials you need to buy items from the shop.
Feeding and materials!
To keep your flock fed, you need to provide 2 basic meals a day. You get food and water by collecting enough materials to buy these resources from the item shop, which is located at the bottom left-hand corner. Currency in Clouds & Sheep 2 comes in the form of happy stars (mentioned earlier), which can be collected from your sheep when they are happy. Wood can also be collected by chopping down the trees you’ve planted and you can collect red pellets from the planted flowers around the pasture.
Finally, over the course of several days, your sheep’s fluffy coats will grow out of control if you don’t shear them regularly. Each time you shear your sheep, you can collect up to 4 bundles of wool. With these materials, you can buy different items in the shop. Items you can buy include food, hats, interactive set-pieces, and paint brushes so you can change the colour of your sheep’s wool for a little custom look.
So, if you want to keep your sheep happy, you need to plant grass, flowers, and trees in the pasture. Water can be collected by using a watering can, which you can buy at the shop. The watering can has the ability to create puddles on the grass for your sheep to drink off of, or you can collect clouds together to form a rain cloud which can do the same thing as the watering can but doesn’t cost any materials. When a sheep dies, it leaves behind a little tombstone. However, if you’ve grown attached to your little fallen friend, don’t panic! You can resurrect them in a blink of an eye.
Birds & Bees!
If you do lose a few, don’t fret, as you can create more little lambs either by buying them in the shop or by having your sheep fall in love to create life. When a sheep falls in love, you will see a little heart appear over their head. All you need to do is to make sure that a sheep with a heart above its head is facing the other sheep. It can take a few seconds, and if it’s successful, a red heart will float into the sky.
Only male and female sheep can fall in love and make a baby lamb in Clouds & Sheep 2, there’s no same-sex option, but it doesn’t affect my enjoyment, so it’s not a huge deal breaker. Then, all you need to do is to simply move the heart over any cloud and a baby lamb is born! Apparently, this is how sheep are brought into this world and it’s rather charming. A lot cuter than reality.
It’s all about personality!
The animations are endearing in Clouds & Sheep 2. It’s really well done, giving each sheep its own individual personality. To find out what your sheep is thinking, you can point and hold the cursor over one of them – a thought bubble will appear over its head. The bubble shows you what it wants or what its heart desires.
This is the main focus here, as happy sheep generate a lot more happy stars. You’ll need lots of them to buy all the essentials from the shop. You can also customise your sheep by changing the colour of their fluffy coats and by giving them a range of different silly hats to wear. This can help identify them easily when your flock starts to grow.
There are a few areas your sheep can visit over course of the game. These range from a farm, to a tropical island, and even to snowy mountains. Each new area can be extended to support more sheep and add more interactive items. Each area offers a diverse range of places for sheep to visit which can be changed at any time if you grow tired of the same scenery, which is a welcome addition.
Leveling up and quests!
There’s a bar located at the top of the screen that, with each successful quest you complete, will slowly build and level up your flock. This, in turn, grants you new areas to explore, new items, hats, colours, and other accessories. There are 30 levels to reach, each one will reward you with new items as they are reached. If you click on the leveling up bar at the top of the screen, you can view possible rewards.
Leveling up is easy and you earn experience by doing anything in the game, including completing quests and keeping everyone happy. These quests may range from keeping the flock or a single sheep entertained for a period of time, collecting certain amounts of material, or taking photos of sheep being hit by thunder. Each mission has a balloon that floats in the air, keeping you informed of your progress by a percentage. You will earn rewards and experience which will slowly level up your cloud bar, and once it reaches its threshold, you level up, unlocking new goodies.
I can’t deny that the game can become quite addictive as you progress. Unlocking new items to customise your flock with quests keeps things interesting. But there are times where you will be doing mundane tasks which can get repetitive, such as feeding and waiting for certain actions to happen.
Some quests take longer than others too. For example, to generate a thunderstorm to shock a sheep, you need clouds which you can gather with the cursor. Combining a few together will turn the clouds into a black thunder cloud. However, you need to wait for them to float on by. There are quests where you need to wait for two sheep to strike up a conversation, then shock both of them at the same time. This took hours, as sheep were not interacting even though I tried speeding up the process by putting sheep together. It went on for far too long and the payoff wasn’t really worth it.
Not all side quests are going to be enjoyable, sadly. Some quests can get repetitive, but there are story quests that progress the main story. These are explained with a little picture book that you will collect in the tropical island. These change the pace and provide new mechanics that switch up the game a little. While continuing the story, there is a constant call that needs your attention, which is making sure you haven’t forgotten to feed, provide medical care, or provide water to the flock every day.
The more sheep you have, the more you will be working around the clock to make sure they’re safe and fed, which is a tall order when there are loads of them walking around. I found that giving sheep different hats was useful, as it helped me distinguish who I’ve fed and who I haven’t, especially when the flock expands to more than 10 sheep!
Hazards can also occur that need to be addressed straight away. These can turn up in the form of poison mushrooms. If any of your sheep eat them, they can become sick and an injection is required to bring them back to good health. If you don’t have any, don’t fret, as a healing herb can be planted. It’s a case of simply moving them to it so they can eat it.
Controlling the flock!
It’s so easy to control things in Clouds & Sheep 2. It’s as simple as moving your cursor around with the left stick. Simply move the cursor over a sheep and press the A button to pick it up and move it around. You can also throw your sheep with the R bumper which sends your sheep up into the air and you can pull your sheep’s tail to make them spin into a wool ball with the L bumper.
These tricks help to amuse your sheep and keep them entertained. You can also use the directional pad to interact with your inventory. To take snaps, you can press the X button, which are then saved to your screenshot gallery on the Nintendo Switch’s home menu.
You can use shortcut buttons and assign useful items to them for speedy use later on. Once you have inventory open, you can also move through the 6 option tabs and pick items out that you want to use. Each item requires a certain amount of materials to use, though, so keep that in mind. Materials can be seen on the right-hand side of the screen. There are other mechanics that are introduced later on, but thankfully, with each new mechanic, a brief intro and tutorial are displayed to tell you how to use it.
The menu music is bright, cheerful, and suits the relaxing nature of the title. However, while you’re playing, the game doesn’t have any music to speak of. It focuses on the sounds of nature and the baa of the sheep, quests being completed, the sound of rain, thunder, and a plethora of other sound effects which all sound good. I’m thankful for it, actually, as there is no repetitive music here.
Visuals & Performance
The graphics in Clouds & Sheep 2 are rather lovely, and I consider them to be well animated, giving your sheep unique, distinctive personalities. New locations provide variety and there are lots of custom hats and interactive goodies which look pretty nice.
The performance has been fine, I’ve had no issues to speak of. Everything ran smoothly. The icon on the Switch’s home menu hits all the right notes, depicting lots of sheep and the game’s logo – it’s a nice, colourful icon. Clouds & Sheep 2 also supports screenshots and video capture.
At £8.99 GBP, you are getting an interactive simulator where you get to be the shepherd and tend to your flock. There are over 80 items, hats, toys, and other interactive things to place into your world and 5 environments to play in, including farm, tropical island, winter wonderland, city park, and prairie. I think there is quite a bit of content here and it has a pretty decent price for what’s on offer.
80+ items play around with
Tending your flock is quite relaxing
Story quests and side quests keep things interesting
Some quests get repetitive
It’s free on Android