A very different kind of lynx effect
Behind all things bright and beautiful, nature is a brutal place. No rules, save the inherent ones of tooth and claw. No mercy. No sympathy, not even for a pregnant mother lynx in desperate search of a new home. Shelter offers both sides, but it’s important that it starts out by making you the prey – alone and weak in the snow, with wolves quickly closing in. Later, having escaped and birthed cubs, you get to show your teeth – hunting other animals through the defrosting wilds and fighting to ensure your family lives long enough to create a new generation of furry little adventurers.
Shelter 2 is an extremely pretty game, eschewing realism for a painted look but still conveying enough detail to feel for the cubs and their exhausted mother. Where it falls down though is that at heart, there’s really not that much to a lynx’s life, and once you’ve got into the basic rhythm of things there’s not a lot more left to discover.
Hunting is a simple matter. There aren’t many threats to worry about. Food is at least plentiful enough. It doesn’t take long before all that’s left is the mood, with Shelter quickly becoming far more of an art game than a survival simulator. It’s effective as that, and there’s little else out
A fascinating experience while it lasts, which isn’t long enough even for Shelter’s short length.
there like it, but even so it’s hard not to find yourself wishing that there was more to it than watching the scenery change and feeling empathetic towards polygonal furry critters. The whole thing is over in just a couple of hours, yet somehow, it still reluctantly outstays its welcome. Richard Cobbett
Unfortunately, Shelter’s beautifully artistic style can’t make up for its short length.