I got Shelter as a gag gift from a friend. Shelter is a survival adventure game in which you play a mother badger, protecting her cubs. I spent 20-30 minutes playing it this evening.

Shelter Menu

My first impression: wtf they made the menu super hard to read.

Once I was in the game, I assumed the role of mother badger with 4 cubs. There was a 5th cub who was greyed out and not moving (sick, maybe?). I found some sort of root vegetable nearby and fed it to the greyed out badger cub, which made it start following me like the others.

Shelter Family Portrait
Badger Family Portrait

I found my way out of the linear tunnel and into the open world (welcome to the game; here, do some walking for a while). Once out of the tunnel, it showed me how to headbutt apple trees to make them drop apples for my cubs. I wandered around the world for a while headbutting apple trees and picking root vegetables for my cubs, unsure of what that was really accomplishing.

One annoying thing about the game is that the tree tops often got in the way of the camera, making me temporarily blind.

Shelter Fox
Badger Cubs Eating a Fox Corpse

Eventually, I encountered my first wild animal: a fox. I leapt forward, killing the fox, and my cubs devoured its corpse. Then, I got to an open area with a large, artsy bird shadow moving around. Before I realized what was going on, the fracking bird dove in and carried off one of my cubs. :O

Shortly thereafter, I tried to mess with the settings, but accidentally ended up exiting the game (like I said, the menu is hard to read). There was no apparent way to save the game and evidently saving wasn’t automatic either. When I relaunched the game, my progress was gone and I was prompted to start a new game. Bah.

So… I wasn’t really impressed by Shelter. Graphics weren’t very good, the camera had issues, and there wasn’t enough direction in the game. Run around a mostly uninteractive linear map headbutting trees and hiding from birds? Sorry badger cubs; you’re on your own.