Posted: May 22
Time for an honest review.
I saw Shelter 2 coming out, and saw this for cheap and went "Heck yeah, I want that!"
This game is nothing like the name, nor Shelter 2 would imply. There is no shelter. You do not return to a shelter every night (or day, if you're a nocturnal animal). You never do anything but walk and grab food for most of the game. Your cubs don't get hungry, food just makes them ever-so-slightly bigger every time they eat.
Okay, you might think, hey, at least you can forage where you want. Nope. This is not an open world game. This is a "follow the tiny corridors" and "find where the developer wants me to go" game while picking up random fruit along the way. This is a platformer collect-the-coins but with no jumping... or platforms.
Then you get to areas with eagles hunting you, dashing between cover, and that is fun the first time! It is repetitive afterward. Then you hit water streams that FOR NO REASON WHATSOEVER either periodically send waves killing your babies, OR, randomly send waves if you stand on the water too long. With ZERO warning and ZERO instruction, you lose your babies. This just in: Rivers don't have gigantic waves. It's not the ocean.
I was down to 2 of my 5 cubs by the end of the game and every single one that died was from some complete B.S. like a cub getting stuck, or not having enough time to cross a stream.
The fact the game disables the "run" ability all the time, including the intro, makes it feel like it's preaching at you even though you it never says a word the whole time. It's like it forces you to bask in how much pride the developers take in their game.
The game has good traits. But the problems I mentioned basically sap the fun back out and leaves you wondering... "What that it?" I applaud these guys for doing what they did. But you basically have to REALLY REALLY be wishing for this exact type of game to enjoy it, and if you expected different from the videos, well... you'll be disappointed.
Lastly, replayability... there is none. There's nothing to do once you beat the game except try it all over again but without any of the surprises you had.