MrSuicideSheep, a solo developer, shows us his short pixel art platformer. Why is Sheepy the title we don’t deserve but desperately need?

MrSuicideSheep is a single developer who shows us this short pixel art platformer. Sheepy is a first work that surprises for its quality, care and I almost forgot: it’s free!

Why does this title deserve to be known and played by as many people as possible? Not only for the aesthetic and gameplay quality which is still high, but also for what it represents: the indie spirit.

Let’s Think About It

The indie scene is certainly the one that has managed to win the hearts of millions of players over the years. Despite the difficult comparison with the bigger realities, it has been able to evolve, grow in quality and sometimes surpass the more famous productions. Both critics and the public now recognize the value of these titles and it is increasingly common to see titles awarded in various authoritative contexts.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, so the indie scene, along with success, brings with it a dark side. Market saturation, improvised developers, clone after clone of ideas and sometimes scams make indie games a thick and dark forest to navigate. Often some indie developers have started to think like the majors, chasing the best profit with the least effort. Paradoxically, the happy island in which the laws of large companies did not apply was slowly emerging into that reality, partly betraying its spirit.

This time, however, Sheepy brings light to this situation by offering a work of great quality and above all free.

A Sheep’s Adventures

Our adventure begins with a light that descends towards a pile of rubbish, until it reaches a puppet of a sheep. The stuffed animal comes to life and begins to move through what appears to be the ruins of a civilization. Initially we can only jump and, being a sheep, our range will not be huge. In Sheepy, however, the concepts of progression and gaming experience go hand in hand. Indeed, they punctuate the adventure with a nice rhythm and, even though the experience is short, they are never rushed or placed “randomly”.

Each skill acquired corresponds to a narrative step in the plot, creating truly intense and memorable moments.

Although jumping is our only skill at the beginning, good level design does not make the experience boring. Even the most simple jump must be well calculated, making our every step uncertain. The verticality of the map and the possibility of hanging from some handholds makes this sense of loneliness and estrangement even more. Furthermore, as we descend into the depths of what appears to be an abandoned research site, we find written documents and audio testimonies that reconstruct the lore behind Sheepy.

The more skills increase, the more interesting and complicated the mechanics become, to adapt to a level design that becomes more complex. Sheepy handles these mechanics well, favoring their combined use, especially in the final stages.

Honorable mention for the search for collectibles, secrets and hidden passages which make the experience deep and denote the great care put into the title.

An excellent game and level design which, although it doesn’t innovate, does its duty very well and is almost flawless.

Sheepy is a Little Gem

Sheepy is truly a jewel from many points of view. We talked about the level and the game design, but the technical and graphic aspect, together with the other comparts, also contributes to making this game special. This is exactly what I want to talk about because the pixel art used in Sheepy is excellent and the lighting makes the title even better. The settings are truly evocative and together with the well-made animations contribute to making the story truly special. Although short, Sheepy really does have some moments you’ll remember, not least because the soundtrack is beautifully crafted by Seeking Blue Label artists Tal Richards (ex-Echos), Hahlweg and Yoe Mase.

Sheepy is free and could easily have had a price because of its quality. Furthermore, thinking that a single developer created all this makes it all even more special and worthy. Sheepy has nothing to envy of more famous titles, in fact, many would just have to learn.

What are you waiting for? Download it for free from Steam, you won’t regret it!

I'm a musician (pianist), a nerd and a longtime manga lover. My gamer life started with a copy of Pitfall (1982) for Atari 2600, and so I grew up hand to hand with this medium until now. Later I started to look for what's behind the final product, its design and what happens behind the scenes of the video game world.