Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 29
  2. Negative: 2 out of 29
  1. Sep 1, 2013
    100
    Go pick it up and give it a try, you’re bound to find something unique.
  2. Jan 5, 2014
    90
    A simple but incredibly powerful experience, that uses interaction to convey well known themes in a different, emotional and bizarrely frightening way.
  3. Oct 28, 2013
    90
    If you found Proteus poignant and Gone Home felt like going home, Shelter will break your heart. [Nov 2013, p.88]
  4. Sep 2, 2013
    90
    Shelter is the nature version of Journey, with as a major difference that you have something to lose. The game is serene and tense, linear in a way that it feels natural, beautiful and simply special in every way.
  5. Aug 30, 2013
    90
    A beautifully simple story about a family of badgers, trying to survive. Other than tears, this brings out the mother in all of us.
  6. Aug 30, 2013
    85
    It's definitely something unique. We could tell you many things about it, but it's something you need to experiment and draw your own conclusions.
  7. Sep 11, 2013
    80
    By successfully tapping into parental instincts rarely solicited by video games, and offering a parable about nurture and sacrifice, it's a beautiful game within, too.
  8. 80
    While the game is somewhat pricey considering its runtime lands just slightly over two hours, it’s marvelously unique. If you’re even slightly interested in what living the life of a badger is like, give it a shot. Its mechanics do grow tired towards the end, but the overall experience is so fascinating I can’t help but recommend it.
  9. Oct 5, 2013
    79
    Shelter is a bit short and a bit too easy, but it's also beautiful, touching and unique. Also, it's a game about badgers, how could you not like it? I would love to see an expanded sequel, even if it would just be more of the same. [Oct 2013]
  10. Dec 12, 2013
    70
    Shelter is a game about being a badger and strange as that may sound it is first and foremost a pleasant and beautiful little adventure. It doesn't really strive to anything majestic but it's still a great game for those who want something different.
  11. Oct 21, 2013
    70
    The last work of Might and Delight looks like a simple and extremely short title, but able to tell a story that excites and involves.
  12. Oct 16, 2013
    70
    As a man I might not be qualified to judge this, but I think the developers did a great job tackling the subject of maternity. [11/2013, p.79]
  13. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    Portraying the casual indifference from nature to it residents is a neat idea, but Shelter can't come up with enough ways to cleverly explore that relationship. The message is clear pretty early on and a change in scenery and context isn't enough to make it any more interesting. It sure is beautiful, though, and as the final scene fades away you can't help but smile.
  14. Sep 6, 2013
    70
    Any game that can make me haul out quotes from both a 17thcentury philosopher and a 60’s era bard is worthy of note, but the technical shortcomings (i.e. camera wrangling) of several generations ago, and the fact that it can easily be completed in one sitting, really hamstring the overall experience that Shelter offers when it comes down to the brass tacks.
  15. Sep 4, 2013
    70
    An original and experimental game, that delivers a truly emotional experience. On the other hand, it suffers from a repetitive gameplay and a of general lack of indications, which can be frustrating.
  16. Sep 3, 2013
    70
    This is a lovely game, let down not by its mechanical simplicity, but by its resistance to doing more with those mechanics. Yet when it taps into basic animal instinct, Shelter reminds us just how precious life is, and how apathetic the laws of nature are to our pleas for mercy.
  17. Aug 31, 2013
    70
    Even if it is at times too orderly and directed, Shelter remains admirably blunt in its emulation of life throughout its short, two hour length.
  18. Aug 27, 2013
    70
    Try and play Shelter as a perfectionist and you’ll fail, the victim of a cruel world and occasionally clunky, unclear rules. Better to simply do your best, allow Might and Delight’s fantastical art to enthrall, and let nature take its course.
  19. Sep 11, 2013
    68
    Shelter certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome, clocking in at just over an hour for an entire playthrough. It’s a short game with just a few levels, but given the lack of variety it is probably a good thing it’s not much longer.
  20. Sep 18, 2013
    60
    If you have the urge to put yourself in sow's place, and protect your cubs on a road through the forest full of uninteresting obstacles, then Shelter is a good choice for you. Otherwise, try to read the Adams' Watership Down classic adventure novel.
  21. Aug 30, 2013
    60
    The base idea has plenty of potential, although for some reason the developer built only the bare minimum around it. At least the game is cheap. If you're looking for something unusual, and temporarily weird but in semi-satisfying way, I recommend giving it a chance.
  22. Oct 7, 2013
    59
    Shelter briefly teases with an original concept, but quickly ties you hand and foot, and then throws you into a blocky wasteland. Yes, one can argue that the game is a big metaphor for the circle of life and motherhood, but even this angle doesn’t make it interesting.
  23. Sep 12, 2013
    59
    How does it feel to be a badger facing the daily challenge of protecting and raising your offspring? While this sounds interesting as a concept the execution lacks immersion and depth.
  24. Sep 6, 2013
    55
    That Shelter is not a particularly convincing simulation of being a badger is no real sin—I doubt many people want to play a game about eating earthworms all day. The game's real failure is that it's not an emotionally compelling representation of parenthood. It convincingly shows that the cubs need their mother, but fails to convey the possibility that they can ever not need her.
  25. Sep 4, 2013
    55
    Shelter wants you to feel compassion for your badger cubs but it doesn't give you a lot to work with. Because of the short duration, dull color scheme and simple gameplay you never get the real feeling of bonding with your little ones.
  26. Oct 11, 2013
    50
    In the end I did enjoy Shelter but I don’t think it’s for everyone and unfortunately, instead of condensing an experience to fit a smaller time-frame, it felt more like the experience was just cut short.
  27. Sep 16, 2013
    50
    Shelter is a unique experience, even moving sometimes, but unfortunately the game is too short and the end is quite disappointing.
  28. 40
    As an emotional tool for parents educating their children, it works. As a game, it's painfully short yet boring after a while. [Issue#234]
  29. Aug 28, 2013
    40
    It sets out to explore a very compelling set of themes, parenthood, responsibility and the casual cruelty of nature, but it ends up doing so in the most straightforward and predictable way possible. It's almost ironic how a game so adamantly about nature manages to feel so unnatural.
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. Aug 31, 2013
    10
    If you haven't PS3 for playing Journey, Flow, Flower but love games like these buy it. 1-2 hours of freestyle gameplay awaits you! Also, if you like design in games, you should see it. Full Review »
  2. Aug 28, 2013
    1
    This game is Sooooo short its awful, $10 for a game that is 50 minutes to 2 hours long? and it's only 2 hours if you go really really slow, and i mean really slow...
    It is NOT and open world game like alot of us were led on to believe and it is a very linear game that will have you screaming for something more about 30 minutes in. I had great expectations for this game because it looked amazing and people on green light were raving about it. But i was left with a very sad and dull experience. If developers all stark taking a page out of Shelters book then the video game industry would be in for a world of hurt.
    IMHO this game is in NO WAY worth $10, maybe 4.99 mmmmmaybe!!!! but 10?? ohhhh nonono
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 5, 2013
    5
    A let down. It was a promising concept, I even voted for this game in Steam Greenlight. If you've seen the gameplay trailers, you've seen most of the game. It took me a really long time to play (I rarely ran), that is 2h 20min, so it's not a 50min game for me. Still, there's not much gameplay and it's more of an "experience" like Journey, To the Moon (both are a lot better than Shelter) and Dear Esther (this one's actually worse well, subjectively speaking). This game is definitely not worth its price, buy it for a few bucks and treat as a single evening entertainment (just like a movie). Full Review »