I dropped everything to play the free viral game that's suddenly matching Palworld and Persona 3 Reload as 2024's highest-rated Steam game, and you should too

Sheepy art
(Image credit: MrSuicideSheep)

In one week, a free game called Sheepy: A Short Adventure has caught up to the likes of Palworld and Persona 3 Reload to become one of the highest-rated Steam releases of 2024, if not the highest-rated according to SteamDB's metrics. Utterly intrigued by its meteoric popularity, I rushed to its Steam page to download and try it, only to spot a familiar name listed as its developer and publisher: YouTuber MrSuicideSheep

If you, like me, enjoy electronic music, you've probably heard some songs curated by MrSuicideSheep, who has 12.8 million subscribers at the time of writing. Mr. Sheep is a prolific and well-known music promoter, and has now seemingly turned his attention to games with one heck of a debut title. 

Sheepy: A Short Adventure is a 2D platformer with some major Celeste vibes, and you'd better believe the soundtrack is positively banging (it's also available to stream right now). Per the Steam page, that's thanks to Seeking Blue artists Yoe Mase, Hahlweg and Tal from Echos, who lent their composing talents to the game. I've played about 30 minutes of it so far – Steam reviews suggest the whole game is only an hour or two tops – and it's been absolutely sublime. 

Sheepy is adorable, and a joy to control. Shimmy up ledges, squish yourself into gaps to sneak by pistons, and double-jump over gaps with silky-smooth animations. Slowly, the platforming becomes more sophisticated. You unlock a dash ability which lets you clear bigger gaps, and you start to see ripples in space-time that enable chained jumps. This culminates in my favorite section so far: an extended, high-speed sprint across a lovely underground landscape, the swelling music pushing you along as little rabbits race alongside you. It's pure audio-visual candy, and easily the sort of game that I would pay for. I can't wait to see if there are other abilities to acquire. 

Beneath the game's cute exterior, there's some strikingly dour environmental storytelling going on. I haven't worked out the full details yet, but from the human skeletons decorating the abandoned city (or perhaps factory) where the game is set, not to mention the grim notes and audio logs strewn about, it's clear that something went horribly wrong for someone. There's also the possessed teddy bear named Patches, but I haven't seen him since the opening boss fight, and I've got other things to worry about. 

Sheepy art

(Image credit: MrSuicideSheep)

After a bit of digging, I found developer Thomas Lean, the actual creator of Sheepy who apparently spent three years working on it. Lean was the solo developer and worked with producer Rob Thomas, and I'm honestly not totally sure if either or both of them are actually MrSuicideSheep in a trench coat. The wording around the channel operator's identity feels deliberately vague; the game's executive producer is listed as Sheepy, for example. 

I've been assuming that Lean is the guy because he's the solo dev, Steam says MrSuicideSheep made this thing, and MrSuicideSheep has called it "my game." However, other posts suggest otherwise. One thing I do know for a fact is that Lean has an Itch.io collection with cool assets which are currently on sale, so give it a look if you want to see some primo pixel art. (This rabbit hole also led me to Tales of Wakana, a promising Metroidvania that seems to use some of Lean's art.)

In a press kit, Lean points to "influences from games like Celeste, Little Nightmares, Inside, Uncharted, Portal 2, Shadow of the Colossus and, culturally, the SCP Universe." Sheepy: A Short Adventure is billed as "the first short game from MrSuicideSheep," and if this is the bar for quality, I can't wait for the second game. The world needs more short games, and Sheepy has been a terrific surprise. Give it a try for yourself. 

Here are the big upcoming indie games for 2024 and beyond. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.