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What is Shelter? Edit

Shelter is a survival video game developed by Might and Delight for Windows and Mac. It was released on 28 August 2013 after being accepted throughSteam Greenlight. In the game players control a mother badger who must protect and feed her cubs while travelling from their burrow to a new one. During the journey the cubs must be fed and are in danger from threats such as birds of prey and wildfires.

The game was received positively and got favorable reviews on the graphics and sound, as well as the emotional impact that it evoked. Reviewers gave mixed reactions when it came to the difficulty and length.

Developer(s) Might and Delight
Composer(s) Retro Family
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows,Mac OS
Release date(s) 28 August 2013
Genre(s) Survival
Mode(s) Singleplayer

Gameplay Edit

In Shelter, players control a mother badger who is escorting her five pups from their burrow to a new home and must protect them from danger. Along the journey the pups will gradually get hungry and require food which the player must provide for them by either catching prey, such as foxes, or finding fruit and vegetables. Threats to the pups come in different forms in each section of the game.

In the first and latter sections of the game, there are areas that contain circling birds of prey which can fly down and pick off a pup if it is out in the open for too long. One section of the game takes place at night, giving the player limited vision of their surroundings. In this section, pups will occasionally be scared by noises and will run away from the player, requiring them to chase the pups until they are within a safe radius of the mother. In a later section, the player must travel through a wildfire, keeping the pups safe from the spreading blaze. Another requires the player to escort the cubs up an overflowing river.

Development Edit

Might and Delight began development on Shelter in January 2013 following the release of Pid. The game was announced and listed on Steam Greenlight in April, accepted in July, and released on 28 August of the same year. In December 2013 Might and Delight released a free add-on for Shelter in which the player must feed their pups once a day for a month to stop them from dying.

Reception Edit

Shelter received mostly positive reviews, scoring 68.79% and 69% on review aggregators GameRankings and Metacritic respectively. Reviewers praised the game for its emotion provoking nature, with the death of a pup "causing a genuine feeling of loss" for Ben Textor of Hardcore Gamer and the game's ending leaving Simon Parkin of Eurogamer "reeling with grief and bewilderment." In GameSpot's review Kevin VanOrd said that when a pup dies "there's a gnawing sense of failure, not as a game player, but as a parent with a duty to shield your young."

The game's art and audio were generally well received, with Edge describing the game as having "a beautiful, pastel-colored patchwork" and John Walker commenting that the game was "ludicrously pretty" in Rock, Paper, Shotgun's positive review. GameFront's review was less favorable of the graphics, with Jerry Bonner describing them as having "a distinctly polygonal look, as if this game was developed for the original Playstation." Of the audio, Mike Rose of Gamezebo said it was "just immense, and matches the surroundings perfectly."

The lack of direction in the game was given mixed reception; Joystiq's JG Carter described the night time level as "ill-explained", and Edge said that the rules were "occasionally clunky [and] unclear." The length of the game was also criticised for being too short, with Mike Rose stating that he found the game "rather short" and Ben Textor saying the game was "somewhat pricey considering its runtime."

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 68.79%
Metacritic 69/100
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 7/10
Eurogamer 8/10
GameSpot 7/10
GameFront 70/100

Sequel Edit

On March 9, 2015, a sequel titled Shelter 2 was released via the software client Steam. This game has the player controlling a pregnant female lynx. Players guide the lynx as she finds a den for her coming litter of kittens and raises them, teaching them to survive in the wilderness. Unlike its predecessor, Shelter 2 allows the player to name the kittens. Those that survive a playthrough can also be controlled by the player, carrying on as the next generation of the family tree.

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