In late August 2020, video game developer Kyle Thompson released a new metroidvania 2D-platformer game called ‘SHEEPO’. With its cute game design, charming soundtrack and fun gameplay, let us tell you… this will definitely be quite a favorite for any metroidvania genre fans out there!
Game Design and Music
With art and design created by Kyle Thompson and music brought to you by his brother, Eric Thompson, the duo created a quirky indie game where players play as a character called Sheepo. The visuals and animation are quite beautiful similar to other metroidvania games such as Ori and the Will of The Wisps. The movements of the characters and how it interacts with the other parts of the planet are quite smooth and the colors and details are quite pleasing to the eye. Nothing too distracting just… adorable. A big compliment goes to the music, a calming yet interesting tune plays through the game and changes depending on your location. Even the small sound effects lend well to the atmosphere the game is aiming to make.
It’s Sheepo’s first day at work at a intergalactic species database and his first job is to save a planet’s habitants from extinction! A big job for a newbie. A little tutorial is started for new players. Through the speakers, a voice who introduces herself as Cynthia instructs little Sheepo on how to move throughout the game. Players are given the task to collect eggs through maps and eventually bring them back to the ship. In addition, as he collects the eggs and puts them in his ‘shifter pack’, Sheepo gains the ability to shape shift into that specific creature as they show up in the map.
Controls and Settings
The controls in Sheepo are quite simple. The default setting included the right-hand arrow keys as your main movement controls and the ‘Z’ key for transforming and other special movements. For my preference, there was only one thing I changed which is the space bar for jumps, but the default is just the ‘Up’ key. This also helped for Sheepo’s ability to jump when climbing up walls. Sheepo does offer the option of using a controller as well which I don’t think is a bad idea, also. The game can be changed in terms of difficulty with 3 levels. I proceeded with the ‘Normal’ setting, and as a metroidvania genre newbie, I think it’s no shame to just put it on ‘Easy’ to start with so you can casually go through the game. But for you hardcore metroidvania/2D-plaform veterans, go ahead and go crazy on “Difficult’!
Maps and Features
The great strength of Sheepo is its ability to provide players with the freedom to explore. As players move through the maps, the world begins to expand for Sheepo and lets players wander at their leisure. Throughout the map, there are feathers hidden which is also the planet’s currency. These feathers can be used at the last-standing shop at DeadMall to unlock features such as Map Markers and Elevator Keys to help players in their gameplay. Sometimes, feathers are tucked away at spots where Sheepo requires a certain creature to shape-shift into and it might be far in the game until you unlock the creature. This is why the freedom to explore is very important, for players to not miss opportunities to access these feathers.
Overall, Sheepo is an awesome game for any level player. It’s quite nice, especially if you are looking for something simple to play without the stress of online gaming, a good singleplayer game when you want to escape the real world or even just kill time. I’m looking forward to more work and collaboration by the Thompson brothers, and possibly a SHEEPO sequel. Have you tried SHEEPO and if you have, what are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments below.