Post-apocalyptic games are always popular. You have only got to take a look at Bethesda’s recent Fallout 4 and their popular free-to-play Fallout Shelter. Being a big fan of these games, then I could not wait to try out Sheltered from Unicube. You will be forgiven if you have never heard of them before, as they are a new dev team with just 2 guys and this is their first title. So enough talk, let us go below and get to the main review of this interesting looking game.
Publisher: Team 17
Genre: Survival, Strategy
Release Date: 15 March 2016
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
Hands up out there…who have ever wondered what it would be like to live in a post-apocalyptic world where you and your family must survive? Thanks to Sheltered you can now find out. When you start the game your first task is to create your family. You have various choices but you must have two adults and two children along with a pet. Whether you choose a mix-sex or same-sex couple is entirely your preference. With this out of the way and your kids chosen, your next decision is what traits to give your family members.
With your family created and the pet chosen to best help, your family then goes to the undergound shelter. Surviving here isn’t easy and you will find that you will have to manage your family time wisely to ensure the shelter stays in good condition. You must carry out regular maintenance inside and go out to make supply runs. You are given a short tutorial covering the basics, so you do learn quite quickly. Just like in The Sims you get given clues to how the health is of your family members by the way of icons above their heads. Remember to feed everyone, including your pet.
Doing the supply runs or expeditions is interesting. You must choose two family members and equip them with the essentials to go outside in the wasteland and gather vital resources. You will meet other survivors on your trip and these will either be looking to join you, want to trade or try and attack you. Also when out adventuring you will encounter wild animals that will attack you and the choices are to fight or run. Combat is turn-based and if you have played these before then you will be familiar with the options on offer. After you win the fight, you will be able to pick up the goodies that have been dropped by your foes.
When you family members arrive back home after their successful mission you will have to clean and feed them and then make sure they go to bed to rest. There are a lot of gameplay mechanics that must be juggled while trying to keep everyone alive and I found it hard to keep all members alive as the game progressed. Also I found myself being in a lot of catch 22 situations, especially early in the game. Resources are not plentiful, so you must ration water and food. When you leave to find supplies you must use precious water rations which leave the shelter short.
You get around this by building an additional water system. But to build it you need supplies that can only be found by going out on expeditions. So careful planning is needed and this can get very frustrating at times. After a while in the game you find yourself becoming attached to the family and when someone dies, you kind of feel sad. You end up losing a vital resource which does make survival extra hard as you must assign the tasks to the remaining members.
Sheltered is a good post-apocalyptic survival game. It follows in the vain of Fallout Shelter and This War of Mine. The mechanics are interesting and for the most part work well. There are a few frustrating issues which I mentioned in the review, but overlooking this and you will have fun.