Big Map – Exploration
The map of Sheltered covers a pretty big area with many villages and towns. Apart from the residential areas there are also mountains, forests, and caverns. Exploring the whole map gives the players so many hours of gaming. Plus there are secrets out there that need to be uncovered.
The residents of the bunker in order to survive the harsh, brutal conditions of a post apocalyptic world they need resources. And lots of them. Food, water, fuel, medicine, construction materials, tools, e.t.c. I could make a big list with the things the player would need but this is not a wiki page for the game. The more the players expand their bunker and the more complicated equipment they build in order to make their lives easier the more materials and parts they will need. Everything is useful now. Anything that can be scavenged is precious. So in order to acquire all those resources and materials the residents of the bunker need to organize expeditions and send them out to the vast wasteland.
At some point in the game the players will need to protect their bunker from raiders. Although it didnt happen to me it doesnt mean it wont happen to you. Thats why the game gives you all the tools you need to protect your shelter. Stronger vault doors, secret hiding spots , traps of various complexity. It takes time to gather the materials and build all those security measures, but its a priceless investment.
Scavenging and gathering isnt a long term solution for survival. Resources must be produced at some point. Food, water, ammo, medicine can be produced in the bunker. Although the production of those resources is only possible in the late game, it is possible to send less and less expeditions in order to find the much needed resources.
You cant have a post apocalyptic world without some extreme or bizarre weather phenomena. Dust storms and radioactive black rain are the most extreme in the game. Dust storms cause a lot of damage to the equipment above the ground and black rain contaminates the drinkable water.
To tell you the truth I am a sucker for a good management video game. I survived for 132 days and I stopped for reasons I will explain later. But until then I was playing for hours and hours non stop. I cared for my family, I maintained, expanded and improved my shelter, I organised expeditions. I did everything I had to do in order everyone would be happy. At some point I had 8 people living in the bunker. It may not sound like a lot but I found it worked really well. Bottom line is, the game is addictive.
Food poisoning from bad food or bad hygiene , radiation poisoning from contaminated water or environmental exposure, catatonia if the stress levels are very high and lastly physical traumas. All of them can be prevented and there are ways to reverse those effects. The various health conditions add more realism and depth in the game.
Everything meaningful the players do is recorded in the journal. This means they can go back and check some events they missed or review some of the actions they took in order to take some educated decisions. The journal tells a story. The family’s story. It written day by day.
One Save Slot
The game saves on a single slot. That means all the decisions and actions once they are made are permanent. Nothing can be changed. This is part of the challenge and to tell you the truth I had no problem with it. It added some realism to the game and a difficulty level often missing from the games of this generation. With lower difficulty the players dont take seriously their gameplays and then they complain the games are boring. But not with Sheltered.
It is possible to play Sheltered more than once since every time a new game starts the world completely new. The whole map is different so the players cannot search for resources or parts on previously known locations. This way the game cannot be exploited.
The developers are active and present in the forums. They communicate with the players in order to establish a fanbase for the game. Apart from that they pay very close attention to the feedback from the players. By getting ideas, propositions and bug reports from the players Sheltered becomes better and better with every update.
Updates – Content Additions
Just because they released the game to the masses it doesnt mean their job is done. The devs continue to release new updates, with bug fixes, balance fixes, changes and most importantly new content. All that make the game better and better. The devs show that they care about their creation and they dont see the gamers as wallets.