Do you remember when you were a child, and you saw those “build your own ant farm” sets, and thought “I wish I could get one of those”? Well wait no longer! Thanks to technology, you can build your very own virtual ant farm. Except they’re not ants, they’re people, and they live in a land laid to waste by nuclear bombs. Basically the same then.
Bethesda has delivered Fallout Shelter, a post-apocalyptic, Vault simulator for iOS and Android. If you’re familiar with the Fallout universe you’ll already know that the dystopian American wasteland is littered with fortified nuclear shelters named Vaults. If not, Vaults were basically advertised as bomb shelters; however their actual purpose was to test a range of bizarre and sinister experiments. Fallout Shelter gives the player the opportunity to create their very own vault with all the perks and struggles that it entails.
A Vault project begins with only a handful of Vault ‘Dwellers’ and a couple of production rooms for them to work in. As you slowly progress through given objectives, you are awarded with either caps or Lunchboxes (more on this later), which aid you in extending your Vault deeper into the ground and expanding your population. In order for your Vault and its Dwellers to survive you must have a steady supply of power, food and water. These can all be obtained from power generators, diners and water purification rooms respectively. All sounds simple enough- but as more people turn up to your vault, and you build more rooms to provide for them, the demand for power and food increase significantly. You can never really settle until the later stages of the game where you have all available rooms unlocked, a decent defence against Wasteland attackers and all Dwellers are well-armed, levelled and happy.
As mentioned above, Fallout Lunchboxes are items that you may be rewarded for completing certain objectives in the game, or for spending real money in game, and once opened they contain 4 cards. According to Vault-Tec, at least one of these cards will be rare or better, which I guess is reassuring if you feel like spending £30 on 40 Lunchboxes. The cards you can receive from Lunchboxes can be resources or caps, which are boring, or more importantly you have the chance of getting rare/legendary Dwellers and weapons. Obviously these are the cards that will tempt people into buying more and more Lunchboxes in order to get that one set of power armour or that one must-have legendary Dweller such as Three-Dog or Sentinel Lyons.
Overall, I think anyone (especially Fallout fans) can enjoy this little game that captures the familiar atmosphere and world of the Wasteland in a unique cartoonish style. If you want something you can check on every other hour, or once a day, this game should accommodate your time restrictions. The other great aspect of this game is that you could easily play this game start to finish without spending a single penny, which Bethesda should definitely be applauded for, no pay-to-win schemes going on here. So if you want to feed your Fallout hunger a little bit before the goliath Fallout 4 comes out in November, or if you just feel like building a cute community in a very hazardous environment, go download Fallout Shelter now.