Sheep Dip is a family friendly game of stealing sheep and packing pens

A set-building game with a woollen twist, Sheep Dip is a short and simple game for 3-6 players.

I was actually very pleasantly surprised by Sheep Dip, which is pitched as an approachable family card game but actually features a couple of really clever mechanics which mean that you have to be a casino card-counter in order to have a confident plan for the final score. The reason for this is because once you’ve got a set of five sheep you’ll be committing them to a hold, removing them from play until the final tallying — and those sheep are worth varying points.

Sheep Dip

These points, I should add, are very prominent on the cards, and each player does need to have their sheep face up in front of them — there are actually no concealed cards until they’re removed from play. I think that the reason this ‘in plain sight’ stat is so well hidden is that the sheep feel like suits, and so the numbers simply feel like indicators of their rank in the suit.

But, I hear you ask, if all the cards are face up, and the points are clearly on display… where’s the rub? Well, each player’s turn is simply made up of drawing a EWE DO card, which is an action or prompt card. These have simple instructions that can let you draw from the flock pile, and banish or steal another player’s sheep. That’s the strategy layer, you can carefully peel away an opponent’s high-scoring cards, or simply steal the cards needed for you to complete your pack of five and bank them.

Sheep Dip

There are extra cards in the deck, of course. Hidden within the deck are wild cards, which can help you complete a fold, and then be replaced and returned to your pen. There is also sheepdog cards, which can block Wolf/Gate Open cards, and finally, there’s a Rainbow sheep which is worth a stack of points if you can keep ahold of it until the end of the game.

Sheep Dip is incredibly easy to understand, but it’s also not afraid to encourage you to embrace sabotaging others, all while remaining approachable enough that juniors can enjoy it.

Sheep Dip is available now through its official website.

Looking to get your friends or family into board games? Check out our list of great, accessible games, perfect for just that, here.

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