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Video Game / Shelter

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Shelter is a 2013 video game developed and published by Swedish studio Might and Delight, where you are a mother badger trying to keep her cubs from harm. Not only must you protect your young from the many perils of the wilderness, you must also ensure none of you risk dying of starvation.

In the 2015 sequel, Shelter 2, you play as a mother lynx caring for her own cubs. The world is a lot more vast, and focuses more on hunting mechanics to care for and feed your family.

A third game, Shelter 3, was released in 2021. It focuses on a herd of elephants.

In addition to the mainline games, the series has an MMO spinoff titled Meadow, and a series of interactive books telling short stories about the world and its animal inhabitants.


Shelter provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Big Bad: Subverted by the eagle, who continually tries to eat the mother and her pups. In the end, when the mother badger gets eaten, we see the eagle was only trying to get food for his or her own hungry babies, not too different from the badger killing foxes to feed her pups. Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim, and babies gotta eat.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The end of the game sees Mama Badger killed and carried away by the eagle, leaving her pups alone and whimpering piteously for a mother who will never return. However, they also arrive safely in their new home, having grown up enough to look after themselves. The last shot of the game shows the eagle returning to its nest with the mother badger in tow, preparing to feed its own hungry offspring.
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  • Cut and Paste Environments: The whole game has this for each specific level, making it almost look as though you are walking on a patchwork quilt.
  • Escort Mission: All of the game. At least the badger pups always stay close. (Except during the night mission, when they might get scared by noises.)
  • Life Simulation Game: You play as a badger trying to protect her young.
  • Mama Bear: A variant. The game never involves fighting, nevertheless Mama Badger will do everything to protect, feed and guide her pups. And in the end, die for them.

Shelter 2 provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Savage Wolves: The mother Lynx runs away from a pack of wolves at the start of the game, and said pack also appear as enemies later on, though it's too easy to miss them entirely because they only spawn in one small part of the map.