You are a sheep, but not just any old sheep. You are sheep that people count as they lie awake trying to drift into a deep and peaceful slumber. Every time you jump over the fence you help someone fall asleep that much easier. But watch out! As peaceful as counting sheep is, there is always a dark Nightmare lurking around the corner just waiting to wake you up from your Sheepy Time.
Sheepy Time is a one to four-player push your luck race game. The game is divided into two phases; the Racing phase and the Resting phase. In the Racing Phase, players will play one out of two cards from their hand to move around a circular board. Cards can be used to move or, alternatively, add Zzzs to a Dream Tile. Once a player has moved they can activate a Dream Tile by removing a Zzz from the tile. These Dream Tiles have various abilities, bonuses and actions to advance your movement game, move around the track and gain points. At the end of their turn, the player will draw a new card into their hand.
The deck of cards that the players draw from contains Nightmare cards. When drawn, these are resolved immediately and will move the Nightmare pawn around the board. If the Nightmare pawn lands on a Sheep meeple (Sheeple?) then the sheep becomes scared and must lie down. If a player's sheep gets scared again they wake up and any points gained that round are lost.
Once a player has fully moved around the Sheepy Time board and jumped over the fence they score Winks (aka points). After a player has jumped the fence they can decide to pass and their turns ends. If they continue to push their luck they draw a card from the deck and the other players have their turn and they continue around the board to score more winks.
Time For A Rest
After all the players have passed, the Resting phase occurs. In the Resting phase, players check to see if they have reached or passed their "pillow" score marker. If they have, the player(s) who have moved past their pillow the furthest is the winner. If no one has passed their pillow marker then the players will lower their pillow token by a set amount depending on the pillow reference card. In turn order, players can then decide to either add a new Dream Tile to the board or add Zzzs to an already placed Dream Tile. Points are re-set and then a new round begins.
Sheepy Time is a cute looking game, but do not be deceived by the cover or the kiddy looking graphics. There is a lot to like in Sheepy TIme and I have been having a lot of fun with this title.
The rules are light and very accessible which makes learning this game and teaching it very easy. There are several different Nightmares in the game which add to the replayability of the game. Each of these adds different Nightmare cards into the deck which changes the way the Nightmare moves and interacts.
In your turn, you only have two cards to choose from and the choices are relatively simple to make. But, depending on your cards, you still have some choices to make. Use a card to move or add Zzzs onto a Dream Tile. Activating a Dream Tile can give you some great bonuses and abilities assuming you have the Zzzs to activate them. Depending on how the tiles come out from round to round you can create some interesting and satisfying combinations.
Each turn is pretty quick and snappy but there is some randomness in the card draw. You could get unlucky and several Nightmare cards in a row or your opponent could draw some cards that give more spaces to move. There is a big stack of Dream Tiles so in each game different abilities and powers will be available.
There is some strategy to the game. It is not all luck, and knowing when to push for another loop around the track and when to stop is a key part of the game. The game is very smooth and streamlined. I think that Sheepy Time is a great game to introduce new gamers or gamers who are new to push your luck games. It is not the most in-depth game but it is a fun game, with great components and a decent level of replayability.
Editors note: This blog was originally published on June 22nd, 2021. Updated on November 8th, 2021 to improve the information available.