Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter is a free to play mobile base-building game from Bethesda, revealed during their E3 conference.  Fallout Shelter puts you in control of a state-of-the-art underground Vault from Vault-Tec.  Build the perfect Vault, keep your Dwellers happy, and protect them from the dangers of the Wasteland.

Fallout Shelter

I’ve played some terrible free to play games, so my first reaction to hearing about this game was to roll my eyes at what I expected to be a crappy cash in attempt.  Free to play mobile games are often riddled with ads and in-game purchases, and special currency such as diamonds or coins.  The gaming often consists of clicking the buttons you’re told to click, lots of waiting around for things to happen, and being constantly ‘reminded’ about the special currency or nudged towards the in-game shop.

However.. it’s Fallout! I had to take a look..

The Android version of Fallout Shelter is due in a few months, so I borrowed a friend’s iPad..

Fallout Shelter - Vault 500

Fallout Shelter starts off quite easy, with a brief tutorial showing you how to build, assign workers to various tasks, etc.

New facilities can be placed next to existing ones, or the elevator can be expanded for new levels to the Vault.  Dwellers can be dragged into the rooms where you want them to work, and if you click into the rooms to see more detail, you can even see what the Dwellers are saying!

Fallout Shelter - The Overseer Sees All

More Dwellers turned up outside, wanting to come in.. each Dweller has their own SPECIAL stats, which helps you decide where a Dweller might be best used. Dwellers can also level up!  This was more detail than I had expected, and though I was still expecting a paywall timer to make itself known, I was starting to like this game.

To explore the Wasteland, you simply drag a Dweller to the entrance of the Vault.. preferably equipping them with a weapon and some armour.  My first Dweller was sent out with just her Vault Suit and bare hands, since I hadn’t yet found anything, but it didn’t seem to bother her.. as her report showed, she was busy gaining XP 🙂

Fallout Shelter - Exploration Report

Dwellers can find equipment, weapons and caps while they’re out there too.  You can recall them to the Vault when you like.. I recalled this Dweller once I’d got armour and a weapon for another Dweller to go out exploring instead.

There are a variety of objectives in the game, such as sending Dwellers to explore the Wasteland, collecting various amounts of water, rushing rooms, and so on, and these reward you with Caps or Lunchboxes.  Caps can be used for upgrades, while Lunchboxes contain cards which you turn over to reveal gear, items, or resources.

Fallout Shelter - Lunchbox Cards

I’m quite impressed.. the Lunchboxes add useful resources but aren’t required, and there has been no push to the shop and no paywall timer at all so far.

Repopulation time! Stick a male and female Dweller together in the Living Quarters, and there’ll be some truly awful chat up lines flying, till they disappear in the back and, well, generate a few happy faces.  Funnily enough, it also boosts morale! 😉

A friend discovered that you can put prenant Dwellers to work, so I switched them out with non-pregnant Dwellers juuuust to see.. and found that the men weren’t fussy and would hit on the next woman placed in the room with them!  They’re also not put off by another pair getting it on in the back room!

I think I might call this Vault 500: Stud Farm!

Fallout Vault - Vault 500 Stud Farm

It was going well, I thought, but I didn’t pay enough attention to the resources and found my Vault running out of water. I definitely hadn’t expected this without some form of “Spend X Caps to Fill All Meters!”.. and I think I actually caused this myself by focusing too much on trying to breed the Dwellers!

I rushed production a few times, and the more I did it, the more the chance of a disaster increased until..

Radroach infestation!

Fallout Shelter - Radroach

Dwellers in the room automatically fight the disaster.. my pregnant worker scarpered, leaving the poor guy alone with the Radroach. Once the Radroach was gone, the room returned to normal. However, the water situation was still not great, so I rushed it again, despite that higher incident risk!

Fallout Shelter - Rush Failure

Oops.. but oh, I love that disapproving expression! 😀

This time the incident was fire..

Fallout Shelter - Fire

After this, I think this Dweller needs a holiday!

I noticed the morale of my Dwellers just kept dropping.. I probably should have built more resource generating facilities before those living quarters!  It did make the chat-up lines rather more amusing though, as both parties had huge frowns on their faces while spewing their lines! 😀

It was time to head off to the cinema at this point, so I had to stop playing.. there was just this one last thing though: my first Vault-born Dweller!

Fallout Shelter - Proud Parents

That low morale level just sapped all the joy of parenthood out of these two, huh? 😉

Fallout Shelter is proving to be incredibly popular, achieving the most-downloaded free app spot on the US App Store, and according to GamesIndustry.biz it’s bringing in more money than Candy Crush Saga.  Fallout Shelter has no paywall timers, no nagging adverts, and so far, it’s good fun to play.

On the iPad, there’s a bit of an issue with Dwellers being hard to select and drag between rooms.. I imagine this would become a real irritant when there are more Dwellers, or when Raiders attack.  I’m looking forward to finding out, though!

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