Shelter Generations (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 18.07.2018

Review for Shelter Generations on Nintendo Switch

Super Rare Games is true to its name, putting out very low quantity limited edition titles, with this latest release receiving a tiny 3,000 physical copies worldwide. Shelter Generations contains two games, with some extras, both physical and digital. Generations is a fitting title, too, with this package bundling up Shelter 2 with all its DLC, which sees a mother Lynx have to protect her young, then Paws shifts the perspective to the child, playing as a Lynx kit, learning to hunt and survive. This physical release is out now but be quick since there are so few copies available, meaning it's not going to be here for long.

The first game in this collection, Shelter 2, gives an open world to explore, playing as a mother Lynx with a group of cubs to look after. The game is a survival style affair, having to head out into the wild, hunt for food and feed the cubs who are at first too young and too weak to leave the safety of their den. That's just the first step; getting the cubs from harmless balls of fluff into kittens, following outside for their first steps, and then further, watching them grow into full-fledged hunters themselves.

It's interesting at first; heading out, trying to find new prey but not trekking too far before the kids starve. The problem is, though, that this is all the game is. The world is surprisingly varied and vast, but this too is a negative. Prey becomes sparse and soon enough the food runs out. However, Lynx are not the top of the food chain; there are others hunting for food out there and Lynx is on the menu. Young cubs are vulnerable to various creatures, but worst of all are packs of wolves that roam the open field, and their howls elicit dread after the first appearance.

The controls are strange but simplistic; a "Predator mode" to see enemies highlighted in red, a sprint that depletes a stamina bar, and a roar to call the cubs. They aren't ever specifically laid out, but they are intuitive enough to easily pick them up.

Screenshot for Shelter Generations on Nintendo Switch

These types of sandbox survival titles usually need reasons to keep their audience coming back. Like the roguelikes that offer improvements upon every subsequent playthrough, Shelter 2 is completely lacking in this and in any sort of extra depth or developments later on to keep players returning. Ultimately it feels quite light.

Next up there's a generational spin, placing the player in control of one of the cubs, changing up the core fundamentals dramatically. No more survival, no more open world. Now, it's a linear, story-based affair. The young cub is quickly separated from its mother and has to try to find its way home. Along the way, the kitten has to solve some puzzles and even befriend a young bear to help out. This cute pair also has to worry about predators constantly stalking their path.

In addition to these two games, there are two little book icons on the main menu, entitled "The Lonesome Fog" and "Fables from the Den," a pair of "living books" - little short stories. They are okay, yet rather unremarkable. Everything in this package is heavily stylised, playing with abstract shapes and aboriginal style art at points. It's good looking in its own way, like a poor man's Okami. This physical addition also comes with a trading card pack and Super Rare Games sticker, both quality productions that the loyal patrons of this great little company will be happy to add to their collection.

Screenshot for Shelter Generations on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Shelter Generations is a considerable disappointment. This whole package seemed filled with promise but each and every element is terribly flawed in its execution. Shelter 2 feels like an empty world, meaning it regularly begins to feel dull, and even when the world has enough content, there isn't enough development in the story or the core gameplay to keep things interesting. Paws improves things by adding a story, some puzzles to keep things interesting, and a whole bunch of charm. There are some lovely and genuinely moving moments. It's good, but just too short, and it's not enough to save this collection.

Developer

Might and Delight

Publisher

Super Rare Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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