Gaming - Sheltered


The Defective Inspector barricades himself into his state of the art fallout bunker (ok, the gap under his desk) and peruses his latest Case File: Sheltered...

Ever wondered what would happen if Organ Trail had a baby with the Fallout series? Well now you don’t NEED to wonder! Unicube (a daring indie developer) and TEAM17 (a juggernaut of the industry) made the perfect mad scientists to force the two games to mate and form a glorious new game. Wanna know the best part? I GOT MY HANDS ON IT. So… let’s talk about it…


For reasons I’ve yet to encounter the world has completely foobared itself out of existence. The land is barren, the air is toxic and plumbing is non-existent. Thus 2 adults and 2 children have fumbled together to find an untouched bunker paradise in hopes the underground mole life will be more prosperous. The problem is the world doesn’t change just because you’re underground with a water butt and an air filter. Things will still break, food is still needed and the novel “Everybody Poops” still remains true. So rather than bend over backwards and accept the apocalypse your family must band together to kick the future directly in the temporal nut sack and survive.

There are many things about the game that feels Organ-Trail-y. The graphics are the clearest thing, purposely setup as a 16-bit indie masterpiece Sheltered brings us back to a time where gameplay means much more than graphics. It brings us back to a time where learning curves are so damn steep they almost go vertical. It’s not to say you CANNOT play the game as that wouldn’t be fair, but there are moments when you are brought to the brink of sanity… or insanity… I’m not really sure anymore…


As a game it’s all fairly straightforward. You’re family have similar needs to the ol’ Sims games but with less bells and whistles. They must wash to avoid illness, eat to avoid starvation, rest to avoid exhaustion and poop to avoid… incidents. Keeping these needs satisfied require particular items which require constant maintenance/creation. But items are not just gonna fall on your lap when the world is turning to hell, oh no! You need to seek, to strive and to find everything you require to survive by scavenging through left over houses, farms and other such buildings. Problem is even the simplest of task has a price. Travelling out of your safe house requires gas masks to avoid radiation and water to… ya know… keep you hydrated while travelling. The game is realistic like that, you need to drink to live…

Speaking of realism, ever noticed how when the world turns to hell on most games people band together and form mega alliances where you can overcome anything? Well f*ck that sh*t. So far in my several attempts at surviving in the game I’ve either been betrayed, beaten or MURDERED IN MY OWN HOME. But that’s not the least of it. At least one of my family has died of food poisoning from not taking a shower, fallen over from radiation sickness while wearing a hazmat suit and my personal favourite… mauled by a bear. A FRIGGIN' BEAR. This game is hazardous with a capital hazard. Good thing that the journey is the reward because I’ve taken about 10 of them already. This isn’t an insult to the game at all, oh lord no, I like it when games break me down to build me back up again stronger than ever! While I’ll admit my strongest is about as powerful as a 3 legged hamster with a lung condition I used to be a 2 legged crippled hamster with a brain tumour AND a lung condition.


So what is the take home message of this game? Simple, life is hard but this life is harder. Much like the real world it’s the persistence which makes us better people and eventually it will pay off. Was that a little deep? Probably… Okay how about this? It’s a kick ass survival game where bears eat your family! Pick whichever you like, no matter how you look at it, it’s a great game for less than a tenner.

Images - Steam