The Good Shepherd Review

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The Good Shepherd is a game by Bible Games Central. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will be adding sheep to their pastures in order to gain points. Of course they’ll have to watch out for wolves and the random stampede of sheep. In the end, the player with the most points will be declared the winner.

To begin all of the cards are shuffled together. Each player is then dealt 3 cards facedown in front of them. The remaining cards are placed facedown in the middle of the play area to form the Draw Pile. The first player is chosen and play now begins.

The game is played in a series of turns with each player taking a turn. On a player’s turn, they will draw a card and then do one of the following actions. They may discard any card from their hand to the discard pile, with the exception of a Sundown card. These must be kept in their hand. More on these cards in a bit. They may play a Sparrow card face up in front of another player of their choice, allowing the player to see all of that player’s cards. They may play a Wolf of a Stampede card face up in front of another player. The Wolf card allows the player to randomly select a card from that player’s hand and add it to their own. They must then return a card to that player’s hand. It may even be the same card as they just picked. The Stampede card is played face up in the Sundown pile, which is a separate stack of Sundown cards. This forces the chosen player to discard all of their cards to the discard pile. The player then draws 3 new cards from the Draw pile to replenish their hand. A player may block a Wolf of Stampede card by playing a Good Shepherd card. This card is played to the Good Shepherd pile which, like the Stamped pile, is a separate stack of Good Shepherd cards. The player that played the Good Shepherd card is then able to draw a new card from the Draw pile. Finally, the player may play a Sundown card. These cards are played in a separate row of Sundown cards. These will cause the game to end when enough of them have been played. Once a player has performed one of the actions above, their turn ends. The next player in turn order begins their turn.

The game continues until a certain number of Sundown cards have been played. In a 2-3 player game, that number is 3. In a 4-6 player game that number is 5 Sundown cards. Once the game ends, each player compares their hand and adds up their points from their Sheep and Pasture cards. Players only score points if they have at least 1 Sheep and 1 Pasture card. If a player has only Sheep or only Pasture cards, then they score no points. Sheep and Pasture cards range from 1-10 points each, except for 1 special Sheep card that is worth 99+1 points. The player with the most points wins.

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COMPONENTS
This game consists of 80 cards in a tuck box. As noted above, there are 5 different types of cards; Sheep, Pasture, Shepherd, Wolf, Stampede and Sundown cards. Each card has a pastel colored background that makes it easy to tell one card from another. The artwork is a bit minimalistic but they convey the ideas of each thing they’re supposed to represent quite well. The cards are a little smaller than regular sized playing card but are probably a lot better suited for smaller hands. For me, they felt a little odd. The cards are also a little bit thinner than regular cards but with the nice finish on them, they’re easy to shuffle and don’t seem to be a problem. I will say that I wish the game came in a bigger box with an insert to keep things a little better separated. I’m not a big fan of tuck boxes especially the ones where you have to separate the deck into 2 stacks and then try to force them back inside the box. Games like Uno have those types of boxes which are always a pain to me. This game comes in that type of box as well. I will say though that the packaging is small enough to throw into a bag or backpack and be taken virtually anywhere. I do like a game that’s portable. Overall I think the cards are nice and playful without being ridiculous. I think that parents and kids will both enjoy the artistic style of the game. This is one that I think looks nice.

8 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this game is a simple piece of double sided cardboard that is folded in half. The rules are in full color and only take a minute or two to read through. For the smallness of the rulebook, it’s surprising to see as many pictures on it as there are. Big name game companies should take notice. Each of the different card types is explained, as is the basics of gameplay. I didn’t see anything here that should be difficult to understand at all. The only thing that I would have liked to have seen was a way of playing the game solo. I’m always up for a good solo card game. I think that the rules do a good job of explaining everything and the rules are easy enough for anyone to understand. Overall I’m good with what’s presented.

8 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
This is a simple and cute little card game that can be played fairly quickly. The idea of the game is simply to get the most points in your hand, having both a sheep and a pasture card. If you’re lucky enough to get the 99+1 sheep, then you’re almost assured of winning. You just have to watch out for those special cards like the Wolf, to keep from losing it. I like the interaction between players that this game has and I like that it doesn’t take too long to play either. As a matter of fact, most games are over and done within like 10-15 minutes, depending on the player count. The more players, the longer the game will go. I also like the subtlety of the game, how it uses Biblical Scriptures from John and Luke to show God’s love for each of us but it doesn’t hit you over the head with it. The only place that these verses are even found are on the back of the box and the rulebook. However the concept is there and for anyone that has heard the verses, it’s a subtle reminder each time that 99+1 sheep card comes into play. What can I say, this was a game that I wasn’t sure that I would really enjoy, but I found myself liking it after all. The rules are quite simple and make this a great game for families and young children. It’s one that grandma and grandpa can play with the grandkids with ease. On top of it being family friendly, it’s actually fun. It has a bit of the take that mechanic to it where certain cards are used negatively towards the other players and it has a bit of set collection, where each player tries to get the most points they can in their hand. Overall this is a very light weight card game that I would recommend.

8 out of 10

OVERALL
The Good Shepherd is a very light weight card game of set collection with a touch of take that. It plays rather quickly. In fact, most play sessions last around 15 minutes. The cards are quite nice, even though they’re a little smaller than normal. The rulebook is quick and easy to read through. The game itself is also quick and easy to play. The main goal is to get the highest points by collecting a combination of pasture and sheep cards. The take that mechanic isn’t overly mean in this one, in fact it’s only the Wolf and Stampede cards that negatively affect other players. One takes a card from their hand, replacing it with another, while the other card forces the player to completely discard their hand and draw a new hand. The game is family friendly and is great for all age groups, including smaller children. This is a fun little game that doesn’t take a lot of time to play and is rather enjoyable. It is one that I would recommend.

8 out of 10

For more information about this and other great games, please check out Bible Games Central at their site.

https://biblegamescentral.com/shop/

You can also find lots of lively and fun FREE games for Holiday parties and Christmas family gatherings at the link below.

https://biblegamescentral.com/christmas-games/

About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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