Shelter 2

“Things got heavy when I played this animal-mothering game.”

Leigh Alexander

In 2013 there was a game called Shelter, where you played a badger ushering your cubs to safety from predators and forest fires and other peril. I avoided it, because from what I heard the appeal was supposed to be how bad you felt when one of them inevitably died.

In the just-launched Shelter 2, you now play a mother lynx. You, the player, get to name each of four different-colored kittens — that’s after you guide the expectant mother through the dark, away from the wolves snapping at her heels, to a hilltop den at the base of a tree. If you succeed at raising any of them to adulthood, the game promises, you can then carry on their lineage.

… The very worst part was the day they came out of the den on their own and began to follow me. Just then I remembered the sound of the wolves on the day the babies were born, and nothing could make me continue playing.

Created by Might and Delight Studios. Available on Steam, GOG.com, and Humble Store.