Commuter Gamer: Get Your Fallout Fix With ‘Fallout Shelter’ on iOS

Reading Time: 5 minutes

FalloutShelter-MainIf you’re anything like me, you’ve been dying for the next Fallout game and all of Bethesda’s E3 Fallout 4 news has done less to quench your thirst then to increase your appetite for more. Thankfully, Fallout Shelter, an iOS game, was released last night to help with your craving.

Commuter Gamer focuses on mobile games that can easily be played in bite-sized chunks. Please game responsibly and never while driving!FalloutShelter-OverseerI immediately downloaded Fallout Shelter right after finishing the season finale of Game of Thrones. Nothing like some post apocalyptic living to cheer you up after that! Fallout Shelter puts you in the role of overseer of a vault. The entire game is in the wonderful cartoon-style Fallout fans will immediately recognize.

FalloutShelter-BuildsThe game jumps right in with a very quick back story to introduce the Fallout world to both old and new fans and then kicks in to an in-depth tutorial. At a high-level the game is a fairly standard, base build and worker/resource management game. You build rooms to earn resources to build more rooms and earn more resources. All the while, you try to grow your population and keep them happy.

The biggest thing that sets this game apart from others in the same space is, of course, that it’s set in the Fallout world with the Fallout aesthetic and Fallout sensibilities. The soundtrack is even exactly what you’d expect from a Fallout game.

FalloutShelter-DwellerEach of your vault dwellers can equip one item of clothing and one weapon. Each clothing upgrade will boost one or more of your dweller’s stats. Your dwellers’ stats help them with producing resources and each room will benefit from a specific stat; for example, Power rooms benefit from Strength, while the Food rooms benefit from Agility. Placing your dwellers where they can help you produce best is vital to the game.

FalloutShelter-RushIn the event you don’t have dwellers who are good enough at the stats you need to product resources, or if you just run out and need more, you can rush a room. Rushing production in a room garners additional rewards in caps and XP, but also has a certain chance of in incident occurring.

FalloutShelter-FailedRushSo far I’ve run into fires and rad roach infestations when failing rushes. You’ll need dwellers in the room to help deal with the threat, but be careful you don’t let them get too injured as they will die.FalloutShelter-DwellerListThe dweller menu gives you a nice, easy way to view all of your dwellers with a quick glance at their level, stats, and happiness along with what they are currently doing and how long it will take them to complete it.

FalloutShelter-BabymakingOnce you have your dwellers working and your rooms producing, you’ll want to increase your dweller population. Although you can just wait for new dwellers to show up from the Wasteland, the easier way is to pair up some of your dwellers in a residence room. The higher the two dwellers’ Charisma, the better chance they’ll hit it off and head off for some happy time. I currently have a couple of children and a pregnant lady running around my vault. Until they grow up, kids cannot work but they do take up a dweller slot so keep that in mind when planning population density and resource management. Pregnant women can work but will run away and not assist with an incident.

FalloutShelter-ExpandingAs the game progresses, you’ll want to expand your vault. You’ll need to destroy rocks that are in your way, and the further underground you go, the more expensive they become. You’ll also need to add more elevators to access lower levels. There are also rooms with additional benefit that only unlock as you grow your vault (like the Med Room where you can produce stimpaks.)

FalloutShelter-CardsEarning your first lunchbox is pretty exciting and rewarding. Each lunchbox will contain some cards and each card will get you come caps, an outfit, or a weapon. These are really important, especially when you want to explore the Wasteland.

FalloutShelter-ExploringAside from the rooms in your vault earning you resources, you can also send dwellers out into the Wasteland to scout. You get a full detailed, real-time log of their progress, encounters, and what they’ve picked up for you. The longer they are outside, the more weapons, outfits, and caps they will pick up, but the chances of harder encounters and death will also increase. The time to return to the vault is half of however long you let them wander.

FalloutShelter-ObjectivesTo add even more incentive to playing, there are, at any given time, three active objectives with a reward tied to each. If you don’t want to do a particular objective, you can easily skip it by just hitting the “X.”

FalloutShelter-SurvivalGuideAs I’ve mentioned before, I love keep track of my progression in a game, and long time Fallout fans would expect nothing less. The Survival Guide shows you which weapons, outfits, and dwellers you’ve collected, and how many more you still need to find.

FalloutShelter-RobustHelpAs “easy” as the game is to play, there are a lot of moving parts and there is, thankfully a very in-depth help guide in the app to answer any questions you might have.

FalloutShelter-Purchase Best of all, Fallout Shelter is a free game and the in-app purchases are minimal, and they are 100% optional. The various levels of purchase score you more lunchboxes and cards which is how you can earn extra caps and gear. Certainly they would help you in the game, but nothing to worry about if you can’t afford it.  And connecting to the store is the only functionality dependent on a connection which is also a huge bonus for me.

Unlike most Fallout games, I think this one is pretty family friendly as far as I’ve seen. Most of the combat happens off-screen. Death is never permanent as you can always revive a dead character by spending caps. I didn’t run across any language above a G level.

If you are at all a fan of the Fallout series, you should already be playing this and most likely are already. But on the off-chance that you aren’t or you haven’t, you absolutely should be. Go get it!

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