Nants Ingonyama Bagithi Baba
The first time I heard of Shelter was many years ago when I watched AmazingPhil do a let’s play of it. Then when I found out I could review this game I immediately said yes. I love many games such as Final Fantasy and Zelda. However, I equally love the sort of “chill out” games such as Shelter and Night In The Woods.
It’s The Circle Of Life
Shelter Generations comes as a neat package of Shelter 2, Paws, as well as the soundtracks for both games and 2 mini stories to watch. I started off with Shelter 2 which throws you into the very deep end.
You are a heavily pregnant female Lynx. It’s nighttime and you are being chased by wolves. Your mate is nowhere to be seen. You need to run for your life and more importantly your little kittens. Luckily the stars help you out and guide you to a hallowed out tree, where overnight your four kittens are born. You get the option to name them all. I opted not to for fear of too much attachment. I know too fine well the perils of watching the first Shelter games.
Remember Who You Are
That was it. From there on I felt on my own. You occasional get a few prompts in game showing you how to call your cubs, chase down prey and how to eat food yourself. The goal of the game is to nurture your kittens to adulthood. I felt lost many times wondering where I should be or what I should be doing. I did wonder whether this was purposeful or not so that you’d essentially trust your instincts as many wild animals have and do what you can.
The open world looks magnificent in the art style they chose. Seasons change the whole environments not just aesthetically but physically as parts you could not explore in winter are now available to traverse and hunt.
The game itself is fairly short. I played in breaks and clocked in around 1 1/2 to 2 hours of my first play through. I have to tell you I was heartbroken. Inevitably your kittens (depending on how many you have kept alive) will leave you, signifying the nearing of the end of the game. I won’t spoil the ending but I was heartbroken. I had genuinely formed an attachment to this family and felt like they were my own.
However, while I did experience great moments in Shelter, it didn’t come without it’s share of features I didn’t feel were quite there. The camera, for instance. While I appreciated Lynx are essentially low lying creatures I found I could never get the camera in the precise place I needed it. Meaning often at times I could not see far ahead of me or where I could be going. The overall mechanics in the game I feel could be tweaked also. Lynx are majestic and sometimes move as if they have no bones but in Shelter 2 it can sometimes feel a bit blocky. While chasing rabbits they can change direction at a drop of a hat however if you try and do the same it can be like slipping on a banana in Mario Kart.
“Simba, one day everything the light touches will be yours.”
While I wish I could say Paws takes what Shelter 2 was lacking and improves on it. It does suffer from it’s share of problems. From the perspective of the kitten textures are a lot more muddy and the strict linear following of the story feels more aimed at a child.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for Shelter Generations was provided by Circle-Entertainment.