Fallout Shelter Test: More than Just an Ad for Fallout 4

08/15/2015 04:20 am by Benjamin Robson in TestsMobile GamesBethesda

I’ve been dying to review Fallout Shelter ever since it was announced, but I wanted to wait until the Android version was released to get a better picture of how it feels on both of the major mobile operating systems. Android owners have been looking at iOS users with green eyes for a quite some time now while patiently waiting for the Android release to happen. Yesterday, all of their patience was finally met with a vault shaped reward as Bethesda Softworks released the app to the Google mobile platform.

The app comes to keep Fallout fans happy while they wait for the latest major installment, Fallout 4, to land on consoles and PC. In Fallout Shelter, players have to build and maintain their very own bunker, complete with dwellers, attackers, and the odd radioactive roach infestation. So to see if this game deserves its place in the iconic Fallout franchise, I felt that a review was in order.

Classic Fallout Art Style

Anyone that has even a tiny bit of experience with Fallout will recognize the art style here. The flickering screens, green tinge to pretty much everything, overly happy looking characters, 1940s music, it’s all there. It’s actually a really nice change compared to most of the garish and loud free-to-play mobile games that fight for our attention in the app stores.

Simple, but In-Depth Gameplay

After whipping through the short tutorial, and getting started on my very own vault, vault 526, everything was very simple to understand. You have three main resources to manage; power, water, and food. These resources govern all. Have lots of dwellers? Then you’re going to need more food and water production facilities. Have lots of production facilities? Well, it looks like you’ll be wanting some power plants. Have lots of rooms that need some staff? You’d better get some dwellers in the living quarters to make some sweet, post-apocalyptic love.

The game feels very well balanced, and I had to manage the amount of dwellers, amount of resources, and how many rooms I built surprisingly carefully. Each dweller has their own set of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, which mean they are better at operating certain rooms, or doing certain activities. It’s not as simple as just building something and waiting for it to reap rewards for you, like in a number of other popular city building games. This was a breath of fresh air in, what could be called, an oversaturated market.

Straight from the Fallout Universe

Everything in the game is easily recognizable as something from the Fallout universe. You can get 3-Dog to man your radio station, Allistair Tenpenny to help in the kitchen, and Lucas Sims to head out into the wasteland to gather clothes and weapons.

The game feels like a mini home-from-home for any player that has spent long hours exploring the franchise in any of the previous games.

Fallout Shelter Rating
  • Pro
  • Classic fallout art style
  • Fun gameplay
  • Fully interactive
  • Contra
  • A touch repetitive
Fallout Shelter

4/5 Stars

Our Verdict

Overall, I think it’s a very well-polished game. Many people may criticize that it exists just to drum up some hype for the upcoming Fallout 4, and while they may be correct, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a very fun and interesting casual game to play, and is perfect when you don’t feel like donning your power armor and exploring the wasteland in Fallout 3.

There are a few things that you can purchase in game, but they do not feel necessary at all, they are mainly just cosmetic items. There was not one point that I even felt like spending money would improve my situation.

I think the beauty of the game is that you don’t even need to be a fan of the series to really enjoy it. It is a complete standalone mobile game that gets shoulder to shoulder with other major players in its genre, and arguably comes out on top.

Fallout Shelter is definitely something I will continue to play. It’s a fun little game with an entertaining premise, and it will give me my Fallout fix until the main release of the eagerly anticipated console and PC release.

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