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  1. DrPixel

    Pixel Reviews: Shelter (PC)

    Developer: Might and Delight Publisher: Might and Delight Platform: PC Release Date: August 28th, 2013 There's just something about nature that captivates and intrigues us as humans. Perhaps it's because nature represents the unknown, with each and every bush or tree potentially hiding an undiscovered species of plant or animal.. Or maybe it's because we can't quite fathom what it is truly like to be a wild creature living in the brush. Anyhow, games about nature as a central theme are very few and far between. The recent game about taking care of badgers who are your children (yes, seriously), Shelter, is one of these extremely rare games dealing with the topic. Certain things happen in nature, and developer Might and Delight captures this to.....an okay extent. I'll explain. So, in this game, you play as a mother badger merely trying to protect her young from harm's way. There's plenty of harm in this game, from hungry eagles to raging waters and even to the "king of rebirth" in nature, fire. If protection of your children is your primary goal in the game, I have one simple question- why isn't the game more open-ended? This game is pretty much near perfect except for the fact that your path is linear and your experience will be the same generally beyond a few certain things you do each playthrough. By that, I just mean getting your badger babies killed. "SPOILER!" you might shout, but really, this is a game about life, just not with humans as we are used to. The only changing element in this is who dies and who doesn't by the end of the journey. Is this a bad thing though, having an extremely linear experience? Generally in games, no! Most modern AAA titles now are 6 to 8-hour romps through the same locales with the same missions each time anyway. Those games aren't panned for being linear, and yet they're panned for other reasons. Unfortunately, I really do regret to say that this game's only downfall in my opinion is not having the option to, well, do MORE! I would have loved to have actually lived as a badger, doing badgerly sorts of things! Even if the game still has the same length, a short-yet-sweet 2 hours or so, I would have been pretty much fine with having more freedom. Instead we get a great, but bland, short, but not outliving its welcome type of game. I'm sorry if that came across as blatant slandering of this game. Truly, I do, because this is a fairly good game still. The crisp, distinct art style and lovely ambient score will keep you fully immersed in the small amount of time you put into Shelter, even if the fairly "point A to point B" gameplay will turn you off. Even the little things like insects flying around or docile animals roaming around really help draw the player in to make them feel like they ARE the badger mother. I know, it sounds weird, but it's great! Truly nothing like this has really been done before and for that I'll give Might and Delight credit. It's a unique experience and if you are someone who likes to play very interesting games this is not one to miss. If spending $10 to feed your children and brave the seemingly vast (yet invisible wall filled) expanse of a typical gorgeous forest and the dangers within doesn't sound like something you'd want to do, I wouldn't blame you. However, take my word when I say that this is a game you will not want to miss at least playing once in your lifetime. It's not something that will come again for a long time I bet, and for that it's very special. A sale would be preferable to get it in as that would be a perfect price to purchase it at. Otherwise, I just wouldn't justify buying it more expensively at $10 unless you think this would be the game for you. Just be aware of its limitations and the length of the experience. Shelter is a good game, but sadly not a great one because of some major gripes present. I give this game a: 7/10