Prove Your Worth or Die Trying
Dangerous Shelter is a simple simulation game with multiple endings and beautiful artwork.
Follow the story of a girl wandering a post-apocalyptic wasteland. When she finds a shelter, the people living there give her a test. In 180 days, she must prove she’s worthy of living there permanently.
She spends all 180 days finding ways to raise her stats and get different endings depending on the result. At first, I thought this was a neat idea. I was excited to see what kinds of endings I could get for raising different stats. It didn’t take long to realize the stat values for endings were pretty simple.
I was hoping that having a wide spread of stats could lead to more complex endings. For example, learning weapon skills and cooking won’t get the citizenship ending, but you could live in the wasteland on your own. That’s not how it works. Almost every ending requires you to fully focus on one or two stats. You’ll have to spend an entire run only gardening or praying at the church. Then you get the corresponding ending. You become a farmer for gardening all 180 days or a nun for praying all 180 days.
Dress for Success
Most of your stats also rely on whatever outfit you have equipped. Most endings are almost impossible to get without the right outfit, and some require specific ones. There are a few outfits you can buy with coins, but most of them require diamonds, the game’s premium currency. You get diamonds for free by clearing quests and playing events with the protagonist’s love interests, but not a lot.
Because of the way buying outfits works, I often found myself doing banishment runs. I’d plan on getting banished at the end of 180 days but focus on getting diamonds from events. I do the same thing to grind coins too. Currency and outfits carry over between runs, so it doesn’t matter what kind of ending you get.
Once I gathered a bunch of money and diamonds, I ran through with one of the outfits. I only maxed out the stats that outfit raised. I would not do anything else. It works, but that’s pretty much the only way to get an ending other than banishment or death. This takes away a lot of the strategy of balancing what stats to raise when and makes the game repetitive.
Everything is Pretty
Everything is pretty in this game. The art is nice and getting new endings feels rewarding because of the artwork that goes with it. I wish the events that led up to them were related in some way outside of the romantic ones. Or that your choices mattered and changed the endings. If I could have different endings with the romantic interests based on what I said, the game would be more interesting.
The art for taking actions is cute too. You always see chibi versions of your character gardening, hunting, etc. The art takes it a step above just watching numbers increase and decrease. It almost makes the repetitive gameplay bearable.
Sadly, Dangerous Shelter still suffers from strict stat requirements. The endings require such high stats and there was no reason to raise more than one or two. Dangerous Shelter could’ve been much better. Just focusing on one stat at a time and throwing money at low Stamina gauges feels a bit lackluster. In short, it’s pretty, but lacks substance.
Is it hardcore?
Once you realize how to win, it becomes boring and grindy. At least the endings look nice.