Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shephy - the sheep are alone

I recently wrote about how annoyed with myself because I learned  and have only been playing Land 6 on my phone, even though I crafted a copy of the game and could play it with real components if I wanted to. On the other hand, I’ve learned and been playing Shephy on my phone because that’s the only way I’m probably ever going to get to play it. And I’m perfectly cheerful about that.

Shephy is a solitaire card game from Japan where your goal is to get a thousand sheep. It consists of sheep cards which you manipulate in various ways with a small deck of action cards. What makes this tricky, brutal even, is that you have to play all the action cards eventually and some of them are nasty, sheep slaughtering cards. One of the losing conditions is going through the action card deck three times without getting a thousand sheep and the other one is having no sheep.

Sometimes I like to pedantically go through the rules of a game when I’m writing about it but I really don’t feel the need with Shephy. The basic version of the game is free as an app so most folks can easily try it out if they’d like to. 

However, I do want to talk a little about strategy. Really, every solitaire game have elements of a puzzle and some are more puzzle than others. I feel like there are specific steps you have to take in Shephy to win.

There’s one card that will duplicates another card in your and a card that lets you remove a card from the game. Judicious use of those two cards lets you winnow the evil, sheep slaughtering cards and that seems to be key to winning the game.

And, yes, every game has some kind of formula. The question is how rigid is Shephy’s. Is there room for flexibility in my choice? That’s the real question between it being a game I can play over and over like Ominrim and a game that I get ten or so plays and am done.

Still, the cute artwork and the enjoyable process of play means I’d be tempted if I saw a cheap physical copy :D I suspect that, at the end of the day, Shephy is a okay game, not a great one. I have had fun exploring it on my phone but it’s not a game that I’ll be playing a year from now.

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