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Game Review: Fallout Shelter (Android)

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Game Name: Fallout Shelter
Platforms: iOS, Android
Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks
Developer(s): Bethesda Game Studios, Behaviour Interactive
Genre(s): Simulation
Release Date: June 14, 2015

fallout Shelter_5The mobile gaming scene has increased ten-fold over the last few years, maybe even hundred-fold. A long time ago, you had GameBoy. Now you have Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, plus all the tablets and Cellphones now play games.  With the Google Play market and Apple Appstore, games are probably the biggest area.  Because of this, game developers have found a new way to generate revenue.  Games can be released to run on these devices such as Android and Apple, and they can sell these games for low amounts of money, like $1 or give it away for free, but charge micro-transactions within the game.  This has become the revolution of the gaming industry.  Every game developer has gotten, or will get into this type of market because millions upon millions of people own a cellphone or tablet, and that means millions of potential people playing your game.

Bethesda announced recently that they were releasing an upcoming title in their Fallout series called “Fallout 4”.  There was lots of fanfare around this, but they also announced a mobile title to help keep the fanfare going.  This title was Fallout Shelter.  Fallout Shelter is a fairly simple tap type game along the lines of The Simponson – Tapout.  Not a new game idea, but the actual premise behind Fallout Shelter is.

You play the game as the “Overseer”.  The malevolent being in total control of a vault from the fallout universe.  The apocalypse has happened, and you need to start rebuilding.  You start the game with a few rooms and a few vault dwellers.  What you do with them is up to you, but the main point of the game is to expand, grow, and keep the dwellers alive.  You require 3 main resources to do this, Power, Water and food.  Your Dwellers can generate/create these resources by working in the appropriate room.  Building these rooms takes caps (the currency in Fallout), but as your Dwellers work and level up, you earn more caps.  Sound simple?fallout Shelter_3

It can get more difficult, as you are constantly bombarded by incidents like Fires, RadRoaches, MoleRats, Deathclaws and Raiders.  Each of these incidents will affect your vault, kill your dwellers and just try to cause havoc.  As you progress in the game your dwellers become better at dealing with such incidents, but they never fully go away.  They can strike back to back, which can cause issues if you run low on caps.  Don’t give up, keep plugging away. (or Tapping in this case)

I originally tried “The Simpsons – Tapout” game a while ago, but I couldn’t get into it.  It wasn’t something I found enjoyable, but being a big fan of Fallout (like so many others out there) I had to try Fallout Shelter as soon as it arrived on Android.  Unfortunately I had to wait a few extra months since it was released on Apple first.  Once I started playing it I fell in love it, and I play it religiously every day.  The same was said for Tali, who almost never used her tablet until she put Fallout Shelter onto it.  Now her tablet is used daily.  I know of several other people who’ve picked up the game all because they saw me playing or heard me talk about it to them, this game is that good.  Its addicting.

fallout Shelter_4The game features a Micro-transaction system of in game-purchases.  Lunchboxes are items which contain 4 cards, which can give you items like caps, stimpaks or people.  Often 1 card is rare or ultra rare, being an amazing gun or armor, or a very unique person for your vault.  Lunchboxes are earned randomly by completing objectives, or can be purchased from the playstore in the game.  While some people find it annoying to have in-game purchases, you can cheat the system a little like I have by using Google Play Rewards.  Google Play Rewards uses surveys from Google, which pay you in Google Play credits.  These credits can then be used to purchase play store apps/games, or even lunchboxes.  So as you stock up play credits, you can buy a lunch box – it’s very handy.

While the game can quickly become tedious as you progress, it doesn’t get any less fun.  As you get more rooms fallout Shelter_2and dwellers into your vault, I’ve found I don’t spend as much time playing the game as I use too.  I probably turn it on twice a day now, just to keep things going (in the morning and at night) but it is still fun.  If I have a spare moment I might open it up just to check on things, but I don’t play it as much as I did when I first started.

While I’m not really big into mobile gaming as of yet, Fallout Shelter is one game that I will continue to play on my android tablet for days to come.  It is really great, addicting and an excellent time waster.  Be warned though, the battery of your mobile device will hate you.  So if you play for an extended period of time, keep a charge cable handy.

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