Fallout Shelter, the mobile game to tease players who are just dying for Fallout 4 to come out in November, is finally out on Android along with a patch for the iOS game adding new mobs to potential room disasters. Anyone who was expecting anything close to a normal Fallout game will be sorely disappointed, but that’s their fault for being idiots and expecting a mobile game sim to be more than a mobile game sim.
Similar to Tiny Tower developed by Nimble Bit for the iOS and Android, players build a massive vault from the ground down for one purpose: Make it bigger. Fallout Shelter is infinitely more complicated than Tiny Tower, however, whose formula is wait, collect resources, build, repeat. In Fallout Shelter, there is a lot of wait and repeat. Thankfully, there’s far more to do between waiting than in Tiny Tower.
Players have to manage three resources, power, water and food while keeping the inhabitants happy, pregnant, and safe. Assigning inhabitants to rooms allows the generating of resources and manufacture of survival products. However, the only way to get more inhabitants (after a point) is to luck up and find them in a lunch box or talk two inhabitants into having a baby. Pregnant women and children won’t help defend the shelter, so having too many will be risking as raiders attack the shelter and accidents can cause fires, radroach infestations, and other horrible ways to die.
Sending an inhabitant to explore outside the shelter can be lucrative if you get lucky and is a good way to get an inhabitant to level up. The inhabitant will keep a journal of his progress, telling the player what they encounter, be it dying sheriff, rabid dog, abandoned home, or radiated mole rat, and how they handle the situation. The world outside the vault is dangerous and if the inhabitant is not prepared for what’s out there they could very well die. Outfits can help keep them alive and weapons are certainly more effective at killing than bare fists. Both outfits and weapons are collectible and equipped to any inhabitant.
However, if you’re expecting more than the mobile game package of do stuff, wait, repeat same stuff, do not even bother to download this game. Exactly as promised, players build and manage their own Fallout vault. It’s all that they do. Players do not go outside the vault, they do not get more than a few types of accidents or raiders, and the game experience is pretty much the same throughout. If you enjoyed the shit out of Tiny Tower, like I did, and wanted a slightly more complicated version, Fallout Shelter is right up your alley.
I give Fallout Shelter a solid three out of five Jan’s screaming cats. It’s fun and will keep me occupied on the john for at least a few months. Everything I could want from a mobile game and exactly what Bethesda promised.