Sheltered (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Survival, Management, Strategy
Developer: Unicube, Team 17 Digital Ltd
Publisher: Team 17 Digital Ltd
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Linux, Mac OS
Tested on: Switch

Sheltered (Switch) – Review

Site Score
8.4
Good: overall fun and addictive gameplay
Bad: some things are too small to read
User Score
9.6
(5 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)

While series like Fallout make us think that we are safe in underground vaults, many things remain overlooked. In most vaults it was ‘good’ living, only vault 13 had the problem of having a lasting supply of water. As you know, water is the essence of life, and with a limited supply you feel that your shelter is like Vault 13, having to either scavenge for water or be sparse with what you can filter out during a rainfall. The large encasing of concrete and metal will give an initial feel of safety, but this will quickly disappear when reality strikes in the cold, damp cellar of death. Sheltered already had a large release in 2016 and we reviewed it then. Now, we step into the shelter of the Switch version and see how long we can survive.

Story

The world has gone to hell; due to nuclear fallout, it is impossible to inhabit the upper world. You play as a family that managed to get down into a safe shelter right on time. Here starts your story of survival with two modes to choose from. One will let you survive the harsh conditions of the wasteland, while the other will pit you in a scenario of a family that does anything to survive. The survival mode completely lacks a flow, whereas the scenario mode will keep you tightly hooked into the life of this (un)fortunate family.

Graphics

Sheltered has beautiful pixilated graphics. From the characters to the background, everything just looks amazing. You would think that everything looks green or orange in a post-apocalyptic world (thanks to some well-known games), but that’s just a stereotype. While the wasteland does have this dusty, sandy look to it, the remnants of buildings and newly flourishing flora give you the impression that nature will recover from this catastrophe. Everything is nicely animated and movement is very fluent. The only downside is that text is sometimes hard to read and items are hard to spot on the tiny screen.

Sound

Sounds in this game are crisp and clear, which is appropriate as you don’t expect a happy soundtrack or music playing in a destroyed world. While staying in the bunker, you get the sounds of people moving around, doing their tasks, of animals roaming the field and the current outside weather. Hearing rain beating down on the ground is actually wonderful after some days of draught. If, during exploration, one of your characters has an encounter, an eerie music chimes in to warn the player that this can go bad very fast.

Gameplay

Sheltered is a survival game in which you must manage your base that is controlled by a point-and-click mechanic. The game starts by selecting one of two modes; in survival, you create a family and choose the difficulty, while in scenario, you follow the story of a family. The game advertises to play survival first, so that is what we will mainly talk about. Survival is a mode that is as hard as you make it. That being said, Sheltered is a kind of game that you will need to learn to play. When creating the family you may customize two adults and two children of your choice. Please note that the only real difference between a child and its adult counterpart are the starting stats. Each character also has a perk of your choosing and a random bad habit. Weaknesses are a better term and they can turn into strong suits after some good development in the field. Selecting a background is essential for the distribution of stats. Having a strong person is good for fights, while someone highly charismatic can easily talk to other survivors and get better deals.

Your survival starts in this abandoned shelter packed with the basic tools for survival and you must plan to make your stay as long as possible. The original building only has two rooms with some food, water, a medical cabinet, a radio and a generator. Naturally, these are built for short stays and have no way of lasting a long time. Now the fun stuff begins: you can fully expand your vault and place anything anywhere. The best tip is to invest in water containers as much as possible, as this is the biggest necessity in the game. Things start out small, but with some scavenging and looting, your shelter will be transformed from a small rickety shack to a five-star underground hotel in no time. Maintenance is something else to keep in consideration as everything will slowly break down and stop working after a while. The best trick is to always have one person doing jobs around the shelter (preferably new recruits since they don’t want to explore yet) to ensure that the generator is filled up, beds are clean, and the toilet is empty.

Naturally, sustaining life without leaving the safety of the shelter is impossible. Although you can get food from roping animals, this isn’t cutting it for four people! To explore the wastelands, there are two rules: first, you need water to be able to walk the miles and second, you need radiation protection. Water is obtained by rain getting filtered in the shelter. By having more and larger barrels, you can enlarge your stockpile and thus allow for more people to travel longer distances. Not only will you have to wear a gasmask to protect you from the fallout, a good weapon is also essential for survival. You can get a two-man party and bring your dog along as a strong companion. On lower difficulties, there is rarely a fight going on. People want to trade rather than to fight, but you do get attacked by wildlife from time to time. On normal to higher difficulties, you feel like entering a raider’s territory with fights breaking out faster than in an 1880s western saloon.

During travels, you will meet friendly people, some of whom want to trade, others want to join you or fight. Occasionally, someone will come by your shelter to offer companionship or to ask for help. The radio can be used to search for points of interest or call traders to come over. When collecting junk, you can point out materials needed for new equipment, and later on, you can create recycling plants to get materials from all the loot you brought home.

Controlling the game is quite easy with a point-and-click mechanism that allows players to queue up to two tasks per person in the shelter and menus that are very easy to work with. Character interaction over radio (when they call in to let you know about their adventure) or in person are done in an RPG-like manner.

Conclusion

While the game itself isn’t brand new, it is always fun to see it released on newer consoles. With the Switch version, you can survive the apocalypse anywhere at any time. The graphics look good, the sounds are right, gameplay will have you hooked for hours and it isn’t even that expensive. See if you can survive the wastelands today and make your tiny shelter a better place than any vault in the USA.

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Rating: 9.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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Sheltered (Switch) – Review, 9.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
MC_JP
MC_JP


Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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