‘Sheltered’ Review

Platform PC Genre Strategy, resource management

Developer Unicube Publisher Team 17

Platform Played On PC

Post-apocalyptic survival for a family of four is no easy task, a fact which Sheltered, the new title from Unicube and Team17, seeks to make very clear. Striking a bit of a weird balance between the Sims and Fallout ShelterSheltered allows players to control and manage a small family as well as the highly customizable bunker they will now call home.

Sheltered begins by letting you build your family, and the flexibility here really stands out. Players can make their family of four pixelated sprites any combination of genders, skin colors, and family dynamics. Want to build a traditional nuclear family? Make your mom, your dad, and your two kids. Want two dads and some adopted tykes? Go for it, because the only thing “traditional” about the family is that they will share a surname. In addition to naming and customizing the appearance of the family, players can also choose a primary trait and general stats for each family member. Each family also gets a pet, each of which have a strength that makes them useful in the wasteland.

When players are satisfied with their family unit, the actual surviving begins, and it can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. Keeping everyone alive and happy is no small task, and this is where Sheltered gets a little reminiscent of the Sims. Each character has several meters that need to be monitored, including their hygiene, thirst, hunger, and whether or not they need to go to the bathroom. In addition to monitoring these meters for each character, players also have to focus on developing and maintaining their bunker. This all means there is a ton going on, and in my first playthrough, I got overwhelmed quickly. Things can get even more complicated when new survivors start showing up.

Not everything is about life in the bunker itself, though. There is a map that offers various places to venture and seek out supplies. Players can send family members out into the wasteland to scavenge or hunt, and the expansion of the shelter itself depends on these adventures. The random item drops can be a bit frustrating when all you need to build is one more hinge and you keep getting limestone, but that is the nature of the random number generator. For the most part, this mechanic works pretty well, though it can be frustrating.

Overall, Sheltered has some good things going for it, but the micromanagement required can be incredibly frustrating. It is difficult to keep up with who needs to use the bucket toilet when you have eight survivors going about their business. Other than that, though, Sheltered offers an impressively in depth post apocalyptic experience, and has the potential to be a great time.

The Good

  • Flexible family units
  • Simple but effective graphics
  • In depth decision making

The Bad

  • Gets bogged down with simulation mechanics

The Score: 6.5