Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter


Fallout Shelter puts you in the role of a vault’s Overseer, tasking you with building and maintaining the vault while making sure the inhabitants are safe and happy. Read Sam B.'s full GG Review below.


Game: Fallout Shelter   Reviewer: Sam B.

I’ve always liked the lore behind Bethesda’s Fallout series; the games take place in a post-nuclear war America where the majority of the population survived thanks to underground vaults. The 50s-inspired aesthetics and music were also a nice touch, keeping the games from being too dour. But me and first-person shooters never got along, so I never got far in the games. At least I got Fallout Shelter to keep me occupied.

Fallout Shelter puts you in the role of a vault’s Overseer, tasking you with building and maintaining the vault while making sure the inhabitants are safe and happy. There are three main resources to keep track of: power, food, and water. These are generated by specific rooms which also need dwellers to work in. You can’t just assign dwellers to rooms willy-nilly, however. See, each dweller has a set of stats called S.P.E.C.I.A.L., standing for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. And each room requires a certain stat, so dwellers with high strength would do well in the power generator while restaurant duty is good to assign to agile dwellers. The higher those specific stats for the room, the more resource is generated. And as the vault grows in both size and population, you’ll need to maximize the resource output for those rooms. Gameplay gets a bit more complicated as it goes on, with more rooms being unlocked and more dwellers arriving (whether from the wasteland or from births inside the vault), but there are plenty of hints to keep you from getting too confused. And if you get tired of them, you can turn off the hints.

This is probably one of the best examples of what freemium games can be. While there are perks to buy such as pets or lunchboxes (which contains items such as resources, bottle caps, outfits/weapons, and even dwellers with high stats), they can also be gained through gameplay by completing objectives such as gathering a certain amount of a resource. And since you’re not competing with other players, you don’t have to worry about someone who’s spent a lot of cash on the game raiding your vault when you’re unable or unwilling to do the same. You can play at your own pace; either go through at your leisure, getting lunchboxes only when you complete achievements, or go through at a faster pace and shell out money for them. I personally haven’t spent any money on the game and I have yet to encounter any real difficulties aside from lack of weapons for the occasional raider attack, but it’s not enough to make the game frustrating.

The dwellers’ self-sufficiency is both the game’s best and worst aspects. On one hand, it means that you don’t have to hover over the vault constantly to ensure its survival. You can walk away for days on time and it will still be mostly fine. Just pop in every now and then to collect resources, deliver babies, and assign dwellers to rooms. The dwellers also do a good job handling disasters such as fires and raider attacks; all I’ve had to do was make sure they didn’t get too low on health by using stim-packs on them. On the other hand, there isn’t much else to do. You can wait for the suspicious man to show up and spot him for bottle caps, but it can get pretty boring after a while. It’s a lot like keeping an aquarium; great to show off and not much involvement on your part, but not the most exciting thing to watch.

Overall, Fallout Shelter is a nice game to open up every now and then when you have free time. If you want something with more depth and more interactivity, you might be better off looking elsewhere. But if you have a few minutes to spare and want something a bit more hands-off, this may be the game for you.

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Game Developer: BETHESDA
Game Publisher: BETHESDA

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