Sheltered is best described as an apocalypse survival game, and it is the most dynamic survival game I have ever had the misfortune of playing. We shall get to that though.
Sheltered starts us off with a sim style character creation, where we are making a family of four. Two parents, two kids, and their pet, designing the perfect family for survival, or so you may think. Pay close attention to the skills you are picking for them or it may well lead to your doom.
This game acts like an 8-bit sims clone in my opinion, adding so many dynamics to pay attention too, that it will make your head spin, and your frustration level rise above the normal healthy level it should usually be. You need to keep track of food, water, and fuel, which is pretty standard for a survival game. I expected all of this easily, and the fact I can send people on missions helps with the supply aspect. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
You must also track repairing every single thing in your shelter, bathroom breaks, showers, oxygen levels, water contamination, toxicity levels in the air, bandits, rats, feed the pet, and even keep the people in your shelter entertained. Seriously, it is like these people think the end of the world is the perfect time to fund a rusted out Hilton hotel in a bomb shelter. Your self entitled children should be lucky to be alive, but NO they think because they built a new room with their own two hands, you should be out hunting them down a new(ish) teddy bear!
This game takes survival and micro manages it to the point you literally are not sure what is going on, and at least one member of the family (or the pet to be honest) is dead before you even know that the food ran out. R.I.P. Fluffles, you were an amazing friend.
Honestly though, I was so mad at this game I almost gave up after my family started dying, I mean who would make a game so difficult? Then it hit me. This is EXACTLY what a survival game should be. Extremely challenging, amazingly rewarding, and devastatingly emotional. All without using advanced graphics or voice acting, and using nothing but 8-bit art and music to portray what it is you really will need to be doing in the long run.
Upon my second play through, I realized this game is intuitive, amazingly well done, and gives me exactly the right amount of challenge that has been missing in most recent era games. It gives you a sense of accomplishment every five more days you can last, and honestly, that is amazing all on its own.
If you surpass twenty five days with all of your family, then you can take the title of survivor from me. For now though, I hold that badge with honor, as it may very well be the longest any member of my family would last during a nuclear holocaust.