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Based on its initial appearance, it would be easy to assume that Might and Delight’s Shelter is going to be a relaxing experience. An earthy, pastel palette and breezy soundtrack give it a tranquil tone, and there’s nothing but falling leaves, chirping crickets and soft sunlight to set the opening scene. But wander down into the woods with that impression and you’re sure of a big surprise. In play, Shelter is about the brutal reality of nature as much as its angular artwork conveys the heady beauty of it.
That brutality stems from your position in the food chain as a mother badger with five cubs to nurture. Fail to feed them and they curl up and die. Leave them out in the open and a bird of prey might swoop in for dinner. There’s little to sugar coat the facts of life here as you assume the role of both predator to feed your young and they the role of prey for larger carnivores.
Scavenging enough food to satisfy the insatiable little omnivores and searching out refuge are your driving objectives in Shelter’s linear landscapes. The root vegetables and apple trees that line each path provide basic sustenance, but taking the time to hunt down a fox or a frog through some rudimentary stealth mechanics will stave off their hunger for longer.