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Our five year old is a big fan of Lego and he received the Shave a Sheep game as a Christmas present last year. The suggested age range for this game is 5+ and it is for 2-4 players.
* Setting Up *
Perhaps unsuprisingly for a Lego game, all the game pieces need to be constructed from Lego. Full pictorial instructions are provided for this. First you need to build four sheep - these are very simple to build and our son was confident following the instructions and making them himself. You then need to build the wolf - again, this is a simple model perfect for the target audience of the game to build. Finally, you need to build the dice as even this is made of Lego.
* Object of Game *
The object of the game is to collect wool (i.e. white Lego blocks) on your sheep and then shave it. The person with the biggest pile of wool at the end of the game is the winner. However, it is not quite a simple as that. You can steal wool from other players' sheep and there is also the menacing threat of the big bad wolf. Gameplay revolves around the dice - you roll the dice and either collect wool, swap sheep with an opponent, shear your sheep or send the wolf to another player to steal all their wool. The wool is only 'safe' when it has been sheared and you can only shear your sheep when it has all five pieces of wool or you roll 'shear sheep' on the dice.
Although the basic premise of the game seems very simple, it can get very tactical - and, after a few Christmas drinks, a bit malicious! We're all a bit too competitive in this house and took great pleasure in swapping an empty sheep for an almost full one, or sending the wolf to steal somebody elses' wool. Of course, that makes it more entertaining for the grown ups but the hyper-sensitive five year old didn't take to kindly to having his wool stolen. And, a word of warning, it isn't really a game where you can 'let' a child win without it being really obvious - not that they care how they win! Creating the dice out of Lego also gives you the option of changing the rules to suit your family - or just to give a bit of variation to the gameplay. There is a section in the rule book which suggests different ways of playing and changing the configuration of the Lego dice to enable this. We enjoyed the 'speed wolf' version where rolling the 'wolf' colour means that it is a free for all where everyone races to grab the wolf and howl, before moving it to someone else's sheep.
* Cost *
This game costs around £8. I think it is worth the money, especially as once the children outgrow it, the Lego bricks can be absorbed into the ever-growing Lego collection. It is also good as a party present.
* Final Thoughts *
This is definitely a game for all the family. It is simple for younger children to understand the rules, quick to set up and fun to play. The only negative is that it is easy to lose the Lego pieces - we have lost a few bits of wool so now have multi-coloured sheep as we have had to add to the game pieces with blocks from the main Lego collections. Also, the tactical nature of the game can lead to a few five year old tantrums - but, to be honest, we get that with virtually all games if he isn't winning so I am just crossing my fingers and hoping he grows out of it soon.
We picked this game up as a wee add on present for our five year olds birthday as I like the idea of shaving the sheep and it seemed a bit different. Also at £7.99 it didn't break the bank.
Before playing this game you have to construct the sheep, wolf and dice following the usual Lego type instructions. My son was quite happy helping out with this and in a way probably had as much fun doing that as any other Lego kit we have bought. You are then ready to start playing.
Basically the aim of the game is to get the most wool you can for your sheep. You do this by rolling the dice and then depending on which coloured sides you get you can either have one or two pieces of wool, you can pinch wool from someone else or you get attacked by the wolf who nicks all your wool. When there is no wool left in the middle the person with the most pieces of wool wins. It's very basic and easy to play but really is quite good fun as at some points you can either take pieces of wool from the centre (being nice) or pinch it from other players (playing bad!) which drives my five year old mad! It can swing from one player to another being in the lead quite quickly which keeps it interesting. It's good for all ages (probably 4 plus) and a game lasts long enough its worth getting out the cupboard but not so long that you are all bored playing it. You get four sheep so up to four people can play at a time.
We have picked up a few of the Lego games but this one is the favourite in my house. We have played this quite a few times and all ages enjoy it. It's probably not up there with the really good traditional board games but as something a bit different it's well worth the £8 I paid.
My son is a big fan of lego and when he spotted all of the lego games he was keen to try them. Personally I was worried that a game that was made of lego may fall apart! Despite my reservations I picked him up a game which was called shave a sheep and I have to say I am really pleased with the purchase!
The shave a sheep game cost £7.99 from a local toy store and it is suitable for children aged five plus and up to four people. I do think slightly younger children could play this with an adults help and so there is real scope for the whole family to play this game together.
The game is housed in a white cardboard box which shows lego farmers, sheep and a wolf on the front. It also features the lego logo. When you initially open up the box you do have some assembly to do to make the game pieces and dice. The instructions on how to do this are very clear though and it was something that my son and I could do together. You need to build four sheep; a wolf and the lego dice and then you can play the game. Once this has been done initially there is no more setting up to do with the game on subsequent plays.
The aim of the game is to be the player with the most "wool" at the end of the game. The wool is basically pieces of white lego which you can potentially win on rolls of the dice, and which should be added to your sheep.
When you roll the dice there are various options which dictate what you should do in the game. They are as follows:
White: Add a piece of wool to your sheep
White x2: Add two pieces of wool to your sheep
Green: Swop your sheep with another player
Pink: Take all the wool that is on your sheep off. This wool is now safe.
Grey: This option sends the wolf after another player's sheep who will then lose any wool which is on their sheep.
My son and I really enjoy playing this game together. After the initially assembly the game is ready to go and needs so little setting up that it can be done on impulse to fill a small gap in the day. I would say that the game takes around ten or fifteen minutes to play and so it is not likely a young child would lose interest whilst playing. Sometimes my son likes us to play a few games in a row with this one.
My son finds it very easy to follow the rules of the game and picked them up very quickly as it really is quite a simple concept. I know this is a game my son could play independently with a friend as it is just so easy to play.
I would thoroughly recommend this game and think it would make a great Christmas gift for young lego fans. The price of the game is very reasonable in my opinion too.
Thank you for reading my review!