Top Critic Average
A brilliant follow-up to the original Shelter, this game retains the impossible power of showing you just what kind of mother lynx you would be.
Shelter 2 is a tough game to pin down. With gorgeous artistic design, ambitious goals, and a unique spin on the survival genre, there's a lot to love.
In the end the beauty of this game rests mostly on, well, the beauty of the game. The game is a wonderland of sounds and sights with an immersive and touching story of survival (less survival than I'd like in my case). Although the gameplay is smooth and succinct, with a playtime of a little over two hours to complete it may not be the sort of game you'll want to pick up to keep yourself amused for that lazy week off work. However if I had more time I would happily spend longer wandering around the lands to discover the objects hidden within or to simply take in more of the sights.
Shelter returns, bigger than before, yet somehow lesser for it.
Shelter 2 isn't a great game, but few games charge players with wrestling genuine emotion or real-world struggle, and in general the medium hardly demonstrates or encourages such circumstances. There's no complex mechanic or grand story to work through, but there's none that could easily capture "feelings" either.
It's a flawed experiment, but one that nevertheless tackles a vital, neglected subject area with a whole lot of heart and thus still warrants admiration.
Shelter 2, in spite of a lack of dialogue, managed to create a hauntingly beautiful experience. Due to its extremely short length and virtually zero replayability, I cannot recommend the experience unless it undergoes a severe price drop.
Beautiful, but fails to capitalise on its potential
Shelter 2 has its moments. Playing as a lynx is disarmingly authentic, the art design is visually arresting and there's no denying that you'l feel... something... once your first litter of cubs survives to grow to adulthood thanks to your tender loving care. But the lack of threat and its big yet pointless open world robs the game of challenge, likely leaving you broadly unsatisfied after just a handful of hours.
I never felt like my cubs were in danger of perishing as a result of anything besides negligence. Ironically, it's a good thing that this game only lasts a couple of hours, because it's barely deep enough to hold my attention for even that long.