Shelter Creators Announce Explore ‘Em Up Meadow

Pip once speculated that Might & Delight’s upcoming Meadow [official site] might be a game in which you play as a mommy meadow nurturing a litter of baby meadows, keeping in line with Shelter’s tradition. While that is a game I would certainly be interested in, it seems Might & Delight has a different vision for their latest project.

Unlike Shelter 1 and 2, Meadow seems to be less about struggling to keep your cubs from succumbing to a nasty demise, and more about making friends. Lynx walk side-by-side with fox and deer in blissful harmony. Sure, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the real world, but Meadow is all about exploring and the social experience. Might & Delight heralds the game as a sort of nature playground.

That looks and sounds quite nice, doesn’t it? Meadow seems pretty open, allowing you to group up with other players or go it alone. In your den you can create a customized animal that suits your fancy, choosing from a number of different fur textures and facial expressions. You can communicate with other critters using a collection of emotes and sounds. Might & Delight will be adding new goodies in updates after release to keep things exciting, too.

The team has some add-ons for those who own previous Shelter games and products. If you’ve got a copy of the original Shelter, you can play as a badger, and Shelter 2 unlocks the lynx, and so on. If you own all things Shelter, you unlock the ability to play as a bird. You can find a full list of extras right here.

Meadow is a fresh foray for Might & Delight, but its similarities to Tale of Tales’ 2005 MMO The Endless Forest are clear. The Endless Forest casts players as a deer with a bizarre human face. There are no real objective to the game. Instead, you simply wander around in search of other deer, interacting with your cloven-hooved friends using a variety of emotes. Certain interactions would trigger events, and you could unlock new antlers, masks, and coat patterns for your deer. It was all very quiet, a sort of interactive meditation on nature. Meadow seems to be a less magical approach to this sort of game, but it will be interesting to see how it draws inspiration from The Endless Forest.

Meadow is due out on Steam for Windows and Mac on October 26.


  1. GrumpyCatFace says:

    Wow, I am going to have to try the Shelter games… very interesting concept!

  2. Flopdong says:

    Hmm, I am very intrigued by the concept, but those graphics are so so ugly. I like unique art styles, and the patchwork quilt look could work very well, but this just looks like my videocard is dieing

    • Bum Candy says:

      I agree with you there. I own Shelter and the graphics in that are nowhere near as eye bleedingly awful as this.

  3. poliovaccine says:

    Bird should not be an unlock… that is lame. I bought Shelter 2 twice basically by paying for the added on Mountains. God knows why, I guess I just like the art style and the concept, oh and the music, even if it never quite flies. But man, they don’t have enough clout to be pulling lame crap like that. Bummer too, cus I *specifically* want to see more games that let you play as a bird… and not just in 2D.

  4. noodlecake says:

    Yeah. I’m unsure of whether it works visually. I’m saying this as someone who came up with a lot of sculpture, paintings and other bits and pieces of stuff with heavily clashing repeated patterns and colours on my degree. I’m not sure if this could be solved with some shadows and ambient occlusion just to help give a little bit of definition to some of the objects and characters in the game. It mostly just makes my head hurt to look at as it is now. The character models and animations are lovely though. :)

    • poliovaccine says:

      Re: the look, agreed… I’m trying to decide why it doesn’t work for me the way Shelter 2 did. Not sure what, in the sense of cohesion, is missing, but something is. In particular, that ground is kinda ugly.

      And yes, like you say, this style *can* work. I would call their earlier game good evidence!

  5. Generico says:

    You know why – for example – Blizzard gets so much praise for their visual art styles, and this game…won’t. Because Blizzard understands the importance of silhouette and its interplay with readability in visual media. This artist does not. By having so many complex patterns and flat lighting he/she is breaking up the outline of everything on screen; effectively giving it camouflage.

    • empty_other says:

      This artist understands that for something to feel like nature, it has to look chaotic enough that camuflage might actually work. Unfortunately they dont have the manpower to create that amount of details, and instead opts for a complex “camuflage pattern” to hide the lack of details. It looks a bit “odd” in this trailer, maybe due to the flatness of the terrain, and that from a birds view it looks way too repetative, but in Shelter 2 it worked as intended: I had to keep a close eye out for hidden predators wanting to eat my cubs.