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Review

In Shelter 3 you lead a small herd of elephants through the jungle and take care of them. Social aspects play a role, as well as needs like hunger and thirst. Not to mention the dangers that lurk in the jungle. The herd offers certain protections, but the aged matriarch and the young animals also depend on it. Many animals live peacefully alongside...

Shelter 3

  • Greg Burn
  • Jun 02, 2021

In Shelter 3 you lead a small herd of elephants through the jungle and take care of them. Social aspects play a role, as well as needs like hunger and thirst. Not to mention the dangers that lurk in the jungle. The herd offers certain protections, but the aged matriarch and the young animals also depend on it. Many animals live peacefully alongside you and are no threat to the large elephants. However, predators such as tigers and crocodiles are not to be trifled with.

Most members of your herd can be provided with food by bumping into fruit-covered trees. This causes the fruit to fall to the ground and can be eaten by the animals. Since elephants are mammals, you will need to nurse your young. The coloration of the elephant calf serves as an indicator here. If the skin fades to a shade of gray, your calf is hungry. While feeding the calf is uncomplicated, getting food for the rest of the herd can be a nuisance. This is not because resources are too scarce, but because of bugs. The gameplay of Shelter 3 is simple and functional. It wouldn't be witchcraft if everything worked smoothly.

Since Shelter 3 is a survival game, resources are at least partially scarce. While water is often available in large quantities, fruits are much rarer. If you are unlucky and two trees in a row just won't give you any fruit, the game is almost over. Of course, you could then pounce on the few fruits yourself and sacrifice your herd. But the game is not called Last Elephant Standing. The goal of most players should be to lead the herd as a whole to its destination, and for that, you need food for all the animals.

Whereas in the predecessor you played a mother lynx who had to raise her young until they were finally able to survive on their own if you were able to protect and care for them long enough, in Shelter 3 you move from landmark to landmark. These weave the story thread. The landmarks are also like forks on the road. From each one, two potential paths will lead you further. What awaits you in the individual sections varies. For example, some regions are rich in food but are home to relatively many predators. In other areas, you'll be completely spared from predators, but the food is scarce and if you don't find your way through quickly enough, it can cost the lives of your elephants as they die of starvation.

Unfortunately, the game doesn't succeed in creating such a strong bond with the animals as it did with the predecessors. However, this is not to be blamed on the story, but much more on the implementation of the animals. They seem interchangeable and arbitrary. An own personality is not recognizable. Too bad, the predecessors did a much better job here and created more closeness to the animals. In Shelter 2, every loss of a child was painful and motivated me to do better in the next game. 

The game scores points with the typical Shelter look and the usual good soundtrack. Most of the time you are accompanied on your journey by calm, pleasant music. In dangerous situations, the background music takes on more threatening tones that convey the feeling of danger.

Conclusion:
Shelter 3 gives the impression that developers Might and Delight wanted to bring some fresh air into the series. This has indeed succeeded, but not only for the best. The attempt to give the game a denser story is quite successful, but it also comes at the expense of the replay value. You can take varied and different routes. However, once you've covered all of them, you'll probably run out of steam. Emotionally, the game can't touch as much as its predecessors. It lacks a deep connection to the herd, whose members seem interchangeable and lack their personalities. The predecessors did a better job in this respect.

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