Shelter 2 Really Wants You To Love Your Babies

If this concept art makes you misty-eyed I don't even

From a certain perspective, Shelter‘s badger kits were a resource one could strategically burn to skip a difficult situation. A small supply of hearts, continues, bullets, or smartbombs one shouldn’t waste but can afford to lose a few of. I’m glad Cara is in the USA right now or she’d ruddy well throttle me, and I suspect John might call me a monster too. Those badgers were their babies. They cared for them and feared for them and mourned them. Now Shelter 2 has new tricks up its sleeve to foster even more familial fondness, developers Might and Delight have revealed.

Responsible lynx mothers will get to name each of their cubs, names to giggle in glee and weep in sorrow if you’re that soft sort. Cubs which survive the game will be logged on the family tree, so you can play as them in your next game. The different colours of your baby lynxes will become more pronounced as you move through the generations too, recording their heritage in their fur.

“We wanted to continue to build features around the concept of family, besides just protecting your cubs,” Might and Delight CEO Anders Westin said in the announcement. “And the idea of a bloodline that can be continued and evolved just fits the world of Shelter perfectly.” They’re just trying to trick you into experiencing emotions, you know. I suggest the names Lynx 1, Lynx 2, etc.

Here’s the teaser trailer from back in March. Don’t feel anything for these feline bullets:


  1. Gap Gen says:

    So this is the hard mode of Mewgenics?

  2. AngelTear says:

    Monster! Heretic!

    She doesn’t believe in cuteness? To the stake, in the name of cuteness, I say!

    (I loved shelter despite its excessive linearity and the scripted nature of all the levels, and I’m very happy that there’s going to be a new one.)

  3. RedViv says:

    Even more attachment, after what happened to Fatstripe The Mighty Idiot? Noooooooo

  4. Oozo says:

    The first one made a tripple whammy of mistakes so grating that I could not get further than the title screen:

    a) use the system language as default without asking me
    b) have a laughably bad localization
    b) have no in-game option, or any other easy way to change the language to one I would actually like to play the game in.

    Seriously, I hate games that do that on the iPad with a passion, but on PC, it’s all but inexcusable. Maybe they did patch in the option by now? I certainly should check. I love me some critters!

    • Grargh says:

      Why are you using a system language that you are hating with a passion?

      • Crafter says:

        I do that as well, probably for the same reasons as Oozo.
        My OSes are most of the time set to my first language (French), mostly because I am very used to this setting and there are no translations issues in an OS.
        But when it comes to games (or movies and books for that matter), I prefer to play in the original version (at least, if it is English), it provides way better immersion than to listen to american characters speaking in french and generally speaking French translations tend to be inferior to the original.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I don’t understand: do you mean the game chose the OS default language, and gave you no opportunity to change it?

      • Gap Gen says:

        Steam games often choose the language Steam is in, and it seems difficult to convince individual games to do otherwise. The point being, I suspect, that for bilingual people, if localisation in their native language is bad for a specific game, they’d rather play in English, even if in general they’d prefer to play in their native language.

    • Oozo says:

      Sorry for being not precise enough: But yes, basically, what Gap Gen says.
      My native language is German, and so is the default setting for my OS. But I do understand a variety of other languages well enough that I prefer playing games in the language they were originally written in. (The same is true for movies and books.) Some games don’t give you the option to change the language, though — they use the Steam setting as a default, or sometimes the OS default language. Both would be ok, if you could just go to “Options” and change to another language.

      I mean, I’m far from blaming indie studios for lacking the funds to do a proper localization (even though in the case of Shelter, there is an error in the options menu that could only come from using Google translate instead of a professional translator…).

      But at least do give me a simple option to change the language. It’s really one of those mishaps that are simple to avoid. (John could put it on his DON’T list, I suppose.)

      PS To be more positive: awwww, look at those lil’ kittens.

      • Crafter says:

        I wish Steam would give me the option to choose my own default game language.

  5. Sharza says:

    I played the first because it came in a bundle. To be fair I must first say that I was very sceptical about the game even from what I’d heard about it before that point. I probably went in very critical and it’s also most likely just not my genre.

    There is, however, some criticism that I can put forward that’s also fair in my opinion:

    1) The white filter was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen as an optical design decision. It made the whole game look washed out and it simply “hurt my eyes”. Maybe some people liked it but even then it begs the question why they didn’t include a toggle to turn it off when a modder could simply put it in through changing what was a single file, I believe.
    2) The optimization was poor. Or something was weird with the controls. I like to believe that I have a fairly good system that can run all current games very well. This game felt choppy and weird at times.
    3) The gameplay was boring and simple. To not lose a badger till far into the game was possible on my first playthrough and I put the game away after maybe 1 hour because it just didn’t become interesting.

    The to me only redeeming virtue this game had were the great aesthetics (which were ruined by the filter unless you modded the game).

    Edit: grammar, readability

  6. Darth Gangrel says:

    “just trying to trick you into experiencing emotions” Yeah, those awful Swedish developers and their tricks. Being Swedish myself, I know all too well how insidious we can be when developing games. Everyone knows that games aren’t supposed to trigger emotions, well other than “OMG! Explosions and graphics and and and… stuff!”. Trying do so despite knowing that it’s wrong is just pretentious and artsy-fartsy.

    • AngelTear says:

      I’m pretty sure Alice was ironic (and pretty funny too!), even though she may genuinely not have enjoyed the game. Either my irony detector needs to be fine-tuned, or you don’t seem to have caught that.

      • Koozer says:

        I suspect Darthy is in fact also being sarcastic. Who knows! The internet.

  7. amateurviking says:

    Ooh I do hope the inheritance stuff is ‘proper’. It’s a nicely mathematical phenomenon that isn’t in enough games where it could be. Still smarting after Rogue Legacy didn’t implement any kind of inheritance of traits at all despite the fact you were playing as the direct descendent of your previous avatar. Truly heartbreaking.

  8. gravity_spoon says:

    This game is a glorified indie “escort mission”. That is all.

    • Niko says:

      All FPS and shmup games are glorified “shoot them all” mission, etc. Basic mechanics of the game =/= game experience.

      • All is Well says:

        One should perhaps also add that regardless, escort missions are not inherently bad or boring. Most of the hate escort missions get seems to be due to poor pacing, dumb AI or similar implementation/execution issues rather than the core premise of protecting an object moving from A to B.

        • Moraven says:

          My thoughts exactly that I was ready to type out. Escort missions are popular but so many have poor AI. MMOs have a history of hit or miss escort missions. The worse part is a failure due to AI and having to restart completely.

    • S Jay says:


  9. Frank says:

    Here’s hoping we can enter the names as distinctive growls and purrs.

    Also — you are a monster.

  10. Geebs says:

    Bah, making people feel guilty about fuzzy mammals is easy. Next one should feature scorpions.

    • YeGoblynQueenne says:

      That’s actually a good idea, you know?

      I once saw a pair of black scorpions, large as the palm of my hand, devouring small crickets in a pet shop.

      The scorpions were beautiful, in a fearsome, dangerous way but they ate the crickets alive. I could see them moving as they disappeared, very slowly, down the scorpions’ mouthparts.

      I don’t think there can be any game more unexpected than one trying to make you feel for that sort of creature, it would be like trying to keep an alien queen as a tamagochi. Still, I’d give it a try.

  11. All is Well says:

    “Responsible lynx mothers will get to name each of their cubs”
    I might not be getting the full picture here, but how will this work, and what will it add? Because you could actually name your badger babies in the first game, by, you know, making up names for them. I’d even go so far as to say you were a bad badger mom if you didn’t.

    • S Jay says:

      They were hard to distinguish… just having them with different colors would help.

      Anyways, I found the game pretty boring. I was expecting something more open, where I could find my own way, survive, etc… it is just a glorified escort mission.

  12. Moraven says:

    Now we need Shelter: Goat Edition.

  13. SuicideKing says:

    Hmmm I know a friend who could get very excited about family trees.