Aug 20, 2015
At last, Bethesda has released Fallout Shelter on the Android, and personally, I couldn’t be happier. Fallout series is almost as famous as Mario nowadays, so I don’t think I should describe it in-depth. Basically, it’s an RPG, set in a post nuclear apocalypse America, with a distinct cheerful 50-s style mashed together with a very dark atmosphere. Fallout Shelter is a minigame that’s set in one of the numerous iconic shelters that are scattered across America, some of them working as the only safe havens across the radioactive wasteland. The player is tasked with sustaining and expanding one of them, fighting off the horrors of the wasteland, while making his citizens happy, well-fed, and working their sorry asses off.
Fallout Shelter is a shining example of why the “economic simulators”, or, simply, Farmville clones, deserve every bit of criticism. It’s not in the genre. It’s all in how you treat it. From the mechanic point of view, Fallout Shelter is just an economic sim with a slight dash of action and RPG thrown in. But the game has all the right elements, and hits just the right balance, to the point where you don’t want to put it away, even if you don’t actually have to do anything. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of Fallout, but there’s no doubt that this game is crafted with much care, and actually attempts to be engaging – with great results.
The general mechanics of Fallout Shelter aren’t that unique. The player needs to construct various rooms that provide the shelter with everything, starting from the basic needs like power, water, and food, to medkits, weapons, and a lot more. The trick is that each room needs to have at least one human operator to function, so the player needs to manage his residents, assigning them to the room that best suits their abilities. The residents themselves can be acquired either by wandering randomly from the wasteland, or by being born from one of the female residents. The residents can also explore the wasteland and scavenge for various goods, including the main currency – bottlecaps, clothes, weapons, and more. But the shelter also has to be protected on its own, as it often gets assaulted by radioactive roaches, raiders, and even more deadly things, roaming around the wasteland.
All in all, this game is almost frustratingly catchy. It catches with its style, actually challenging and intelligent gameplay, and with its nods to the other games from the Fallout universe. So, I’m sure that both fans of the mobile economic strategies, and the fans of the Fallout games, are going to find Fallout Shelter equally pleasing.