Fallout Shelter Reviews

201,665 (130,543)
TA Score for this game: 205
Posted on 08 February 17 at 09:58, Edited on 08 February 17 at 10:09
This review has 40 positive votes and 34 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
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Fallout Shelter is a mobile game that was released to promote Fallout 4, the game did so well and so many people liked it that we now also have a console release on Xbox One.
Since I never bothered before, I figured this would be a great opportunity to try it out.

The point of the game is to micromanage a Vault and the people in it as you level up further and further, you will have people running different rooms like the Power Station, Water Treatment and Restaurant, all of these crucial to your ability to survive and keep the dwellers happy.
You are of course able to upgrade these by using the caps you earn from either sending people out in the wasteland to explore and level up that way, or just by completing tasks that the game gives you.
Occasionally your vault will be attacked by Raiders, Deathclaws or similar, which yield great loot that you can then equip your dwellers with in order to be prepared the next time they come around.

Playing the game is like having a view of an ant farm, or people farm in this case, where you build more rooms to fit more dwellers, you are able to merge rooms of similar type into bigger rooms in order to get the most out of them.

On occasion new Dwellers will join your vault, when these appear seems to be random so if you'd rather know when they arrive you can get a woman and a man to create a child in the common room (This will take 3 hours of real time though).

Another part of the game is the dwellers special stat, which determines how efficiently they work, what this value is based on is the type of armor/clothing your character is wearing.
You get better gear from completing quests or from the lunchboxes that you occasionally get, more on them in a bit.

There is also a mechanic where if you think that 5 minutes to get more power is too long, you can "rush" the creation of it, making it complete in 30 seconds instead, whereby the game will give you a percentage indicator of how likely it is to work.
If this were to fail, you will get infested with rad ants or a fire will start, which you have to solve by either shooting them to death or putting out the fire, respectively.

The gameplay remains the same almost throughout the entire game, you build things, you wait for them to finish or force them to finish (if you're lucky) repeat until you have everything you need at that point.
The only thing that is different is when you purchase the Overseer's Office, where you can send dwellers out on quests to get better gear and weaponry for example. You play these missions exactly like the normal game but it's more of a linear path you follow, it does get you better rewards though.
It has a surprising amount of depth considering it is just a mobile game, honestly.

There are lunchboxes that you can buy to get loot and caps and different trading cards that will help you play the game more easily, however, at no point does the game demand that you spend money on it, it isn't even encouraged, you could spend money if you wanted to, but spending more money than 10 dollars would be like buying an entire set of Pokemon Cards just to have them. It would undermine the joy you get from having patience with this game and its mechanics.

I found that it was way more fun if you imagined your own story for the Vault Dwellers in your care.

I for example decided that I was a ruthless overseer who exiled anyone who failed to work quickly enough, I would use the rush mechanic and anyone who failed (all of the people in the room) would get sent out into the wasteland to prove themselves worthy by leveling up and collecting caps, armor and weaponry for the rest of the inhabitants of the Vault.
Only then could they have learned from their mistakes.
I soon discovered that children are not able to work like adults (I even made the pregnant women work), which I decided to solve by letting them work twice as hard when they do grow up (A couple of hours of in game time).

I imagined it as any episode of a Soap Opera mixed with some Hunger Games story.
You see, Mark in engineering is cheating on Susan with Elana from Med Bay, which makes Mark's friend Pete really upset because Mark is usually a nice type of guy but he got tired of Susan because she couldn't fire her gun properly and since she was useless I sent her out to the wastelands and he need to get laid, you know? So he decided that Elana looks kind of like Susan so she would be fine.
Although Lily is pregnant with Pete's child and she has the hots for Mark.
Meanwhile Angela is feeling left out in the common rooms because Dennis won't let her join in on their Science stuff.
Eventually Mark died and that lowered the entire morale of everyone in the vault, meaning I, as a ruthless leader, had to remind them of how it can get much worse than the situation they are currently in.

If you intend to play it, remember to play it for what it is; a marketing tool for Fallout 4 that just happens to be a mobile game with surprising depth to it.
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hella awesome
70,393 (44,905)
hella awesome
TA Score for this game: 673
Posted on 11 October 17 at 05:53, Edited on 26 November 17 at 22:09
This review has 7 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Feedback and comments are always welcomed.

Edit: I've now played for almost 40 hours and my review remains unchanged.

Rating Quick View:

Frustration: Medium
Function: Medium
Future Play: Low

The Details
Fun level Medium – This is probably the most polarizing game I have played in a long time. Parts of the game (such as quests) are so much fun. I want more. Other parts of the game (such as waiting) are excruciating. In a way, this averages out to a medium fun “game”. I put game in quotes, because it becomes more fun once you stop playing like a typical console game and start thinking of your Xbox like a giant smart phone with Fallout Shelter being a mobile game. Mobile games are fine. They are fun, mindless entertainment. Not too overwhelming, but not too much to offer. Fallout Shelter is no exception. It is a fun time filler while you are waiting for a different game to download or something to check in on before you shut off your Xbox for the night. Plus it is free. That’s fun.

Frustration level Medium – One of the most frustrating/game breaking “feature” of this mobile-game-pretending-to-be-a-console-game is the concept of time. Typically, in-game time is some arbitrary relationship to real time. In Stardew Valley, an in-game day is around 15 minutes real time. However, in Fallout Shelter, 1 hour in-game time is 1 hour real time. This might not seem like such a crazy idea until you learn that it will take 6 hours for your dweller to gain one stat point, or it will take 14 hours to get to start the next quest. I need to wait 14 hours?! WTF. There are other frustrations like the clunky inventory system and dweller movement controls, but none can hold a candle to the frustration due to waiting. I consider myself a very patient person, but this was a bit much.

Function level Medium – The controls for the game and the sounds for the game are fine. They work well and are easy to master. Though the time aspect drastically reduces the playability of the game. At the heart, the game is 100% a mobile game. It is designed to be glanced at in coffee shops or on busses for a few minutes at a time, every day. It is not designed to be played for hours on end as video games typically are. Unlike every other game that you’ve probably played on Xbox, Fallout Shelter runs 24/7. Characters travel, battle, collect loot, and die all while you are asleep and your console is off. The game wants you to go away and come back later. This works for mobile but doesn’t feel right for a console format.

Future Play level Low – This is definitely an achievements only game. There is nothing really interesting to bring you back to the game. No interesting story or character development, no meaningful design or building choices, no real challenge once you understand the mechanics. You may come back to build another vault if you find your achievements have glitched, but I doubt you’ll start another one just for fun. If you can accept the game for what it is, you may be able to keep coming back to your vault to check up on your dwellers, but beyond that there is not much to do.

Information on the author – I find typical review categories hard to relate to, so I created my own. The purpose of this review isn’t to discuss every aspect of the game or how to play the game. Upon writing, the author earned 8/34 achievements and played ~9 hours.
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