I was checking it out on Steam and This War of Mine does look really cool with very positive reviews. I put it on my wishlist and will probably pick it up in the near future. It’s hard to get a sense of gameplay from the 2 videos provided on Steam though. Just a few glimpses of people walking around, negotiating, and fighting.
Sheltered mostly takes place in the bunker and is a bunker management simulator. You send out expeditions to specific locations on a map, and get radio messages when the explorers encounter a location or person. Exploring is just one or two screens where they show the person you encounter or the items at that location. You don’t wander around random screens looking for stuff like This War of Mine seems to. I mean, exploring in Sheltered is a crucial and vital part of the game, but most of the time your view is going to be of this small bunker and your focus is going to be managing the people inside it while you equip and send people out. The survival/management elements seem to be similar, but This War of Mine looks a lot more detailed and involved.
I’ve gotten a lot of tips on Sheltered from Steam, apparently I’m not the only one who is having some difficulty at the beginning. This guide was pretty helpful, although raids have been changed to occur much later in the game, so you don’t need to worry about trapping your base until at least mid-game.
The key to surviving in the very beginning is get set up with 2-3 medium water butts, freezer, and snares in the first week, as well as the basic shelter facilities (shower, toilet, beds, etc). It might take a while to find hinges, metal, motor, etc, for the freezer but you can go around 10 days or so before you run out of food. Once you get past the initial week and have a steady supply of food and water the game is not that difficult.
Some tips Take the dog or the horse as a pet, and send him on missions. There is a “toggle” button on the map screen when you’re choosing locations, selecting this allows you to take the dog (or the horse). The dog is great in combat, the horse can hold a lot of loot.
I was visiting 2-3 locations at once (made satchels), looting everything, and hauling it back. But someone suggested visiting 10-15 locations at a time, with a specific loot list in mind (Fuel, gas masks, hinges/motor for the freezer, etc). Yes, it takes more water and you will leave a ton of stuff behind, but you will get more of the items that you actually need. If you leave stuff behind, I don’t know if you can go back to that spot for the same stuff later. Someone has said that you can apparently re-visit locations and they will get replenished after a few days. So you don’t always have to visit unexplored locations (which get further and further away). Haven’t tried re-visiting yet though.
You also want to broadcast for traders and scan frequencies pretty much constantly. But don’t let anyone in until you have a freezer and some snares set up for meat. Once I did that I never ran out of food and could invite 2-3 people in and kept 2 teams out on expeditions pretty much constantly. It seems to take about a week or so before their loyalty goes up enough to send them on an expedition. In the mean time, have them fix stuff constantly, especially your filters and generator.
You definitely want tons of water butts (4-5) ASAP after initial setup, because the max amount of distance/locations are affected by how much water you have, plus water does make a good trade item for traders who visit your shelter. Just don’t trade too much water away at once or you will run into problems until it rains.