Producer: Team 17
Publisher: Team 17
Platform(s): Android, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, XBox One
Review Platform: Switch
+Resource management is successful
+Modes Statis and Surrounded are nice
+Minimalist design is successful
-Hard to connect with the characters
-Some shortcomings in controls
-Does not bring innovation to the genre
Sheltered first appeared in 2016 when survival games were quite common. The game we tried to keep our family alive in a nuclear shelter was similar to Fallout Shelter but it was a bit more detailed, it was more like This War of Mine. The game, which has succeeded to become popular with a good number of players since its release, has now made its release for Nintendo Switch. Together, let's see how good the Sheltered Nintendo Switch version is.
Sheltered’s world is post-apocalyptic. In the game, we control a family that survived a nuclear war and settled in a shelter. This family consists of five members in total, two adults, two children, and one pet. We can customize this family at the beginning of the game, we can change the capabilities they have and adjust them to our needs.
Our characters have five main features in total. These are Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, and Perception. Of course, each of these features has a direct impact on the game. For example, Strength increases your damage in fights, while Charisma increases your chances of success in trade.
Apart from these features, our characters in the shelter also have their own statistics. These are; hunger, thirst, fatigue, toilet need, hygiene, stress, and trauma. In addition, health-related situations are included in this statistical section.
Statistics are the most important part of the game and you need to keep an eye on it always. If someone is hungry, you should give them food. You should sleep the ones which are sleepy. If someone has to go to the bathroom, you gotta take her/him to there. In the shelter, you are in control of everything.
Because the game takes place in a nuclear world, you have to protect your characters. Someone you're sending to the surface without special clothes can be exposed to radiation poisoning. Some dirty characters can be food poisoned if you don’t let them take a shower. You'll see this and many other problems in the Sheltered.
You have a family and a pet in the shelter. This quintet is the most important part for you because if they die, you lose the game. But sometimes you can meet people in the outside world, and sometimes there are people who want to join your shelter. These people have a Loyalty bar, unlike your main characters. When this bar rises, we can send them to the outside world. Because we need to protect our main characters, they can be a good alternative. Just remember, if the number of people gets too high in the shelter, you may have a lack of oxygen, you may find yourself killing innocent people in the shelter to fix the problem. By the way, unfortunately, if you expel them, they can steal something or break down important items while they leave. So killing them looks like the best option.
The first few hours in Sheltered are definitely very important. You have to plan what you have to do, act accordingly and not spend too much resource at the beginning. E.g; let's say you need leather to make a bed. In order to find leather, you must send someone from your family to the surface and of course, you should give them water. The further they go, the more water they consume. When you can't find the leather you're looking for nearby, you need to go farther, but water is not enough. What do you need to have more water? You have to upgrade filter efficiency. So what do you need for that? Leather. The game may be too cruel for the new players in the beginning, you may have to start over a few times until you start to understand how the game works.
The game has two new modes in the version for Nintendo Switch. These modes added as a scenario are Stasis and Surrounded. In Stasis mode, players are trying to build a rocket within 75 days that will allow them to leave the dying world. Stasis, which has 8 different endings in total, is a complete challenge for challenging players.
Surrounded mode lasts 50 days in total. The family decides to take a difficult decision and the father leaves the shelter to find resources. Mother and child, who are left behind, should be protected from the people who want to confiscate their shelters and from the creatures. It is important to note that these two modes do not have any difficulty setting, you just need to be a little bit patient.
Let’s talk about the game's performance on the Nintendo Switch. The game runs smoothly on the Nintendo Switch. I have not experienced any problems with the controls. However, I was quite annoyed about one situation. You need to look for the character in the shelter and select it to look at his/her statistics. In particular, when there are too many people in the shelter, it can be annoying to search for the character with the highest Intelligence for example. A quick access to statistics could have been very useful in Nintendo Switch.
The graphics of the game have preserved the pixelated graphics structure. The world of the game made with a minimal design generally looks good. Music and sounds are nice.
The biggest problem about Sheltered is that it does not bring any innovation. Sheltered, unfortunately, fails to be original. Although resource, relationship with the people around, shelter management is successful, we have already seen them in other games. Sheltered is unable to bring any innovation to the genre.
It is also not possible to feel the connection between the characters in the game. A character can be traumatized when a family member dies, but he/she recovers quickly when some other family members take care of him/her. But because you're somehow unable to make a connection between you and the dead character, you don't really care about it. In fact, I was able to connect with my pet, rather than the people.
Sheltered is one of the games which are suitable for Nintendo Switch. Those who are interested in post-apocalyptic stories, shelter construction, and resource management can try the game, without big expectations. Especially Stasis and Surrounded modes are one of the big pros of the game. However, the final decision is yours to make.