Fallout Shelter game review from a beginner might sound like a counter-productive idea, ridiculous even. But we wanted to find out why this mobile game from Bethesda, is now on top of iOS? most downloadable apps, and a newbie?s POV might answer just that.
This game is the first mobile game released by the makers of the iconic Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, and it has become so popular since its launch in last month?s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2015, that Android users are now clamoring for their version to be released (the Android Fallout Shelter is rumored to come out in August!).
Fallout Shelter Game Review: First impression
Before anything else, a disclaimer: I am not a gamer, nor am I a game enthusiast. I am a mother of two who?s actually trying my best to get my son off Minecraft (a losing battle).
But I do appreciate the dynamics of pop culture, and Fallout Shelter gave me a glimpse of its popular predecessor recognized for its liberal views (the Fallout series introduced same sex marriage waaay before SCOTUS), and excited a throng of fans in last month?s E3 expo in California.
And I am quite adept when it comes to more popular mobile games, and see myself with a talent in precision (Angry Birds), color coordination (Candy Crush), and time management (Cooking Mama) — so perhaps this was something I can appreciate.
What were my expectations? Well certainly not some 1950s cartoon characters, I give you that. I naturally imagined the sophisticated RPG characters of Fallout, not two-dimensional beings you see in two-bit games. But herein lies the game?s desirability. The simple interface was attractive for non-gamers like me, and it did send out the impression that this is a simple, fun game worthy of some mobile space.
The rules are also simple: You are assigned a vault, and people go to you and live in your vault as the post-Apocalyptic world outside is just too dangerous to survive. You basically have 3 roles: Develop your vault, increase your dwellers, and make them happy and valuable to your underground community.
You do this by accepting dwellers ? men and women alike all looking for a place to survive. You then expand your vault, adding compartments that first address the basic needs of your colony: Power, food, and water. The rule of thumb is: Power is needed to run the vault, and people need food and water to work on these vaults.
Dwellers are in charge of running specific vaults (either to produce more power, food, and water). They come to your vault with special personalities, not special like sense of humor or sensitivity to women, but SPECIAL which stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Although their personalities start out pretty basic in the beginning, you can develop their personalities to fit specific duties in your vault. This doesn?t come easy, and you need to spend quite a good number of playing time to develop them.
But once you do develop them, it is easier to determine where to place your dwellers ? those with high strength works best in the power room, those with high perception can get water faster, and those with high agility can make mean dishes.
Getting into the game
Of course, the more stable your vault, the more people want to live in them. Which means that you have to create more living quarters and more production vaults to support your community. Simple right? Not exactly.
Like normal humans, your dwellers want to be happy. And as their leader, you have to figure out how to do that. Resources can deplete pretty fast, and always remember that rooms do not function when there?s no electricity ? the more rooms you create, the higher the power demand.
And when dwellers are hungry or thirsty, they are not happy. This is where you put your organizational skills to test ? which I must admit, I lose when working with inanimate characters. You have to figure out who?s who, and constantly check on their SPECIAL to know where they fit best. It works ok in the first six dwellers, but it can get crazy when you have more people to think about.
Rooms can of course, be upgraded using caps, which I think is the shelter?s currency. To add more dynamics to your community, you can opt to creating other rooms like a Science lab where you create Stimpacks (HP potions for health), and anti-radiation vials (Rad-Aways), because this is a post-nuclear world. Training rooms can also be constructed where your dwellers can train and gain experience to level up and be of more use, a garden that help produce more food, and a Nuka-Cola Bottler because what would life be without soda?
My favorite is the bar, where dwellers can train their charisma ? this is actually very important! Dwellers need to flirt to keep themselves happy, and (gasp!) have sex! In Fallout Shelter, sex is a euphemism for confetti, and happy green faces behind closed living quarters. The women of course become pregnant, give birth to babies, and they become the next generation of workers for your vault. Relax, this is just a game. Check out the texts when starting a game, it gives really good advice on how to play Fallout Shelter.
I don?t know how others do it, but I can seem to keep my dwellers happy long enough to make them function better, so I guess this is one of the objectives of the game. You also need to send out people to the Wastelands so they can salvage some pretty nifty stuff from the vault. You can?t see where they?re going (thank god), but you have to check them out once in awhile or else they end up in really dangerous areas and die. Once you ask them to return however, they live long enough to give you their loot.
You also need to watch out for raiders ? some really mean pirate-like villains who get all your resources and make your dwellers cower like chicken without a head. Not fun, and I almost gave up on the game after an attack.
It?s also fun to get some prizes from lunchboxes everytime you advance or complete and objective ? weapons, costumes, and more money to build more rooms.
The rules are simple to navigate, and the most newbie of noobs won?t have a hard time figuring this game out. A word of advice: Be aware of how many rooms and dwellers you have to make this game work. In the end, I had too many rooms to handle, and too many people to care about. I?m not really sure what I anticipated or how this game would end (unlike Candy Crush that make you want to just continue playing), but what can we really expect if you live in a Fallout Shelter?