Fallout Shelter Review

The Fallout series is one of the legends of the RPG gaming world. A game that has helped to define the look and feel of post-apocalyptic gaming for decades, it finally made its way to handheld devices with Fallout Shelter. The management sim is definitely a new twist on the usual Fallout formula, but it also seems to be one that makes the most of the universe’s unique setting. The purpose of this Fallout Shelter review is to take a look at that game and to determine what makes it work.

Type of Game Management Sim
Developer Bethesda
Platforms iOS, Android
iTunes Download Page
Google Play Download Page
Free Yes

Your Mission

Fallout Shelter places the player in the role of one of Vault-Tech’s great experiments. All you have to do is grow your Vault and keep its dwellers alive. The only thing standing in your way is a handful of dubiously-engineered systems, temperamental test subjects, and a wasteland full of enemies that wants to take everything you have. The first mobile game set in the Fallout universe, this is also the first game in the series to allow players full control over a Vault and all of its inhabitants.

Design & Graphics

This Fallout Shelter review definitely views the design elements of the game as a success. It uses the retro-style graphics that are present within the Fallout games to portray its entire world. All of the characters in the game are presented as variants of the Vault-Boy, while all of the settings are taken from the mainline games and rendered in a very similar art style. The end result is very charming but also incredibly useful. You’ll be able to identify everything in the game just from a glance, especially if you’ve played any of the older games.

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What’s impressive is that the graphics in the mobile game are virtually identical to what you see on other platforms. This feels like a game that was definitely developed as a mobile-first title, so the only thing you get from playing on another platform is a bigger screen. The bright colors, easy-to-read silhouettes, and the simple construction are all common across the various devices on which the game has been released. In terms of designs and graphics, it’s one of the very few games that can easily transition between mobile devices and consoles without really losing a step.

Main Characters

As far as this Fallout Shelter review is concerned, the game doesn’t really have a main character. The main character is the player of the game, who takes on the role of a Vault Overseer. In theory, that makes the character either one of the lucky people who signed up for Vault-Tech’s Vault or an employee of the company, but this isn’t something that’s explored in the game. What’s important is that you are the person in charge and that you do not interact with any of the other characters in the game. You get a view of what’s going on in your Vault, but otherwise, you are an objective observer to what’s going on.

This is the first Fallout game to eschew having any kind of character interactions. Even if the characterization in some of the other games was a bit thin, there was always something there. This is a stripped-down mobile time management title, though, so it’s not fair to expect the same level of depth as one would see in a major release. Still, it’s probably not fair to consider the player’s role as that of a character. Instead, you’re just playing around in the Fallout universe without really being a part of that setting.

Storyline

The storyline experienced in this Fallout Shelter review puts players in a unique position. While the bulk of the Fallout games released thus far have featured Vaults in one form or another, this is the first Fallout game to take place entirely within a Vault. Instead of wandering out into the wasteland of a post-apocalyptic America, the player is placed in charge of an experimental Vault that is actually meant to keep its subjects in line. The Vault is more in line with what was seen in Fallout 4 and which will be seen in the upcoming Fallout 76 than what’s been in most games of the series, but it’s nonetheless a fairly familiar setting for players of the other games.

There is only one goal in the story – keep your Vault functioning. This means balancing out resource usage, keeping your Vault Dwellers alive, and exploring the Wasteland for useful items. There are no real story beats, but there are occasional problems that the Overseer must solve. These range from simple electrical issues to full invasions of the Vault, but they all put the player’s management skills to the test. The game goes as long as the player feels like playing, so there is no true ending for Fallout Shelter.

Additional Versions

As of the time of this Fallout Shelter review, there’s only a single version of Fallout Shelter. This is the same version across every mobile device and video game platform, so you’ll get the same basic experience no matter where you choose to play. The base game is free no matter where you decide to play and you’ll use real money to buy the bonus currency, so your choice in game versions really comes down to the platform you enjoy the most. Surprisingly, the game seems to be updated fairly often rather than getting new editions, so expect more content to come out any time a Fallout game is released.

Final Thoughts

The verdict of this Fallout Shelter review is that it is a great twist on the usual Fallout formula. It’s perfectly designed for mobile play, boiling down the main elements of the series to something that can easily fit in the palm of your hand. While it’s short on the role-playing and combat elements for which the series is known, it is nonetheless a fun game that will help you to get into the spirit of the main series.

Have you played Fallout Shelter? If so, you probably have your own opinions. Let us know what you think about the game by getting in contact with us today.

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