This game was reviewed using the Android release.
The Grand Opening
Well, folks, it’s finally here: Fallout Shelter is finally available on both Android and iOS mobile devices! This free application is available either through the Google Play Store or through the Apple App Store. Easily one of the more anticipated mobile games in a very long time, Shelter takes some familiar mechanics from Tiny Tower and Star Wars: Tiny Death Star and gives it a very clearly Fallout feel and interface.
For those who have not experienced any of the Fallout games, the premise of the universe is the the Cold War did not end and actually escalated into a Third World War which ended in nuclear war, which leveled the entire world, turning it into a barren wasteland. Since the world was still caught in the throes of the Cold War, everyone was still preparing for nuclear war by being overly paranoid – a company, Vault-Tec, decides to capitalize on this by building Vaults: underground facilities acting as bunkers that were supposed to provide shelter and livelihood for up to 200 or more years but, more often than not, ended up being social experiments.
The premise of this mobile game is that you’ve been placed in charge of one of these Vaults as its Overseer and your job is to slowly expand the Vault, increase and sustain its population, while gradually coming out periodically to check if civilization is booming somewhere. It’s a pretty simple premise, at first, actually.
This game is like a falsely great party host: you come in, you’re introduced, things seem awesome. The game looks and feels awesome for a mobile game, especially if you’re a Fallout fan like myself, but once you’re given the basics you’re left on your own and the learning curve gets pretty steep pretty quick.
Between all the things that can go wrong and how you’re encouraged to potentially make half of them happen with the hope of reward, you have to either start paying to win or learning really quick about how to keep your population alive and happy.
That being said, though, the call for in-app purchases in a popular mobile game isn’t exactly uncommon, these days, and seeing as you can technically play the game without buying a single thing and still do pretty well – if only just barely, at first – it’s not exactly a game changer.
While this has a certain feel of some games that have come and gone, I think it has enough uniqueness to appeal to Fallout fans, bandwagon hoppers, and newcomers alike. The challenge gets steep at first but it’s merely that: a challenge. You’re not built up to fail straight away and there’s plenty there to keep you tapping and sliding around.