Creating another survival journey Shelter 2 adopts the same fundamental gameplay and style of the original while offering you a whole new emotional adventure of survival. Swapping out the badger from the original game players in Shelter 2 will this time guide a mother lynx through the harsh environment with its own range of challenges and deadly encounters. This setup allows new players to experience the same emotional journey of survival as returning players who are already familiar with the Shelter franchise.
Players start their Shelter 2 adventure as a pregnant Lynx who is being hunted by a pack of wolves which immediately triggers your survival instincts and wastes no time in getting player adrenaline flowing. Throwing off their scent is your first task in Shelter 2 and requires players to move through the dark winter night and jump obstacles to evade the wolf pack and increase the distance between hunter and prey. This leads the player to finding an appropriate shelter to give birth at which point players can name each of their four new lynx babies for the journey ahead.
From this point the game transitions from wolf escape into a broader survival game where you help the young lynx through the lifecycle of newborn to mature and self-sufficient adults. This also includes showing them how to hunt for food, drink from the river and most importantly keep them safe while passing on these techniques to the rest of your lynx family line.
While there are some basic requirements to keep the lynx children alive Shelter 2 for the most part is an open and free experience and much more so than the original which was more linear design. With the ability to adventure in all directions Shelter 2 does provide various points of interest alongside some hidden items and different shelters that the lynx family can call home.
However, these hidden items rarely provide substantial interest or benefit to warrant the extra risk involved which is a shame given the fantastically designed game world and unique art style. A more balanced risk-reward scale for exploration would have added that important push of encouragement to explore all the corners of the game world.
This lack of incentive does also spill over into another core game mechanic which is the repetition of the lynx lifecycle over and over again. With resetting this lifecycle players can explore the world a new to complete the entire map exploration but offers little new gameplay otherwise and loses its appeal beyond the first generation or two of your original lynx that you navigated to safety originally.
While gameplay is quite minimal in Shelter 2 it does a wonderful job of building an artistic game world with changing seasons and establishing that emotional link to your starting lynx family.
- An interesting animal based game centred around a family of lynx and their lifecycle.
- Protect your children and explore the world to start the cycle again.
- Find hidden items scattered around the game world for those that dare venture beyond their home shelter.
- Hunt rabbit and deer across the seasons to teach your young lynx how to hunt and survive.
- Unique art style that establishes survival game mechanics without significant UI.
Review Platform: PC