1) Game Experience: Very High
2) Game Value: Very High
3) Quiche’s Recommendation: F2P of the Year!
I used to have a fallout fantasy. A nuclear holocaust, an underground bunker, and nothing to do but kill time. There’d be a fully-equipped video game room. A movie theater. A soda fountain that never stops fizzling. It was one of my favorite day-dream fantasies during boring Geometry or U.S. History lectures. Of course, my fantasies never included any work. Nope, it was all about having fun.
But obviously, work would be a necessity in such situations. So is life and death. More death than life, probably. And that’s what Fallout Shelter, a new mobile F2P, is all about. The first two times I played, I got everyone killed.
My first vault, #479, starved. My second vault, #700, got wiped out by a RadRoach infestation. Yeah, that’s right: killed by BUGS! My fantasies never had giant roaches in them, either.
My current vault, lucky number 777, is doing better. I have three generations and counting. What’s the secret? Go to the bottom of this post for links to my Tips for Success.
Here’s the Review:
Anyone who’s played the Fallout series knows the basic premise. Nuclear holocaust and the world is messed up. Only a few survived via underground bunkers sealed by a huge vault door. They eventually emerge to find a demolished and post-apocalyptic world. The other games take us outside to explore this Mad Max world. Fallout Shelter simulates life inside the vault.
Fallout Shelter is a sim F2P. You’re the caretaker of the vault. Actually, you’re a dictator and micro-manager. You choose what rooms to build, what resources to produce, and who gets to work where. You also get to choose who mates with who, and ultimately, who lives and dies. Complete North Korea, but the iron fist is the only way to maintain sanity in a crazy world.
Resources are key. You need power, food and water. Without these three, people will die. Once you’ve met these basic needs, you need to multiply. Put a man and a woman in a room and they’ll make a healthy baby each time. Easy peazy, even in a radioactive world.
Eventually, you’ll make more rooms like a training room, a radio room, and others. But these are secondary to your first goal: life. Another way to grow your vault is to take in outsiders. You have to be selective because each person has a specialty, and each skill corresponds to how well they perform in a role. For example, Agility is needed for making food, and Perception for water-making.
You also have to gather items to help you succeed. Those who have played Fallout before know the common goods: stimpaks (healing), radaways (radiation recovery) and bottle caps (currency). There are also outfits and weapons to help you in your survival like the laser pistol and BB gun. Best way to get items is to win lunchboxes or explore the outside world. Exploring is the cheapest but also the most dangerous. Equip your brave dweller well or s/he will get killed.
Random events will keep you on your toes. RadRoach infestation is one. So are fires and Raider invasions. Raider invasions are especially brutal since they can quickly wipe out your entire dweller population.
There are missions and other interesting features to keep the game feeling like a full game. It’s an F2P but it doesn’t feel like an F2P. There are no stamina meters. No pay to win. Real cash will help you but it’s not needed to enjoy the game. It buys lunch boxes which gives you some really cool stuff like rare items and characters, but the game doesn’t punish you for being cheap.
I love the Fallout series. Great art direction and one of my fave RPGs of all time. Fallout Shelter might just be an appetizer to the upcoming console game, Fallout 4, but it’s not a bad game in itself.
Happy dwelling and don’t let the radiation get ya!
For tips on how to succeed as an overseer, here are my other posts: