Good evening, dear readers, and a happy weekend to all! To our United States readers, happy 4th of July! To our non-US readers, happy Saturday! Both are worth celebrating, and why not celebrate with games? Something that’s really caught my attention lately is Bethesda’s latest game, Fallout Shelter.
In Fallout Shelter, you play as the Overseer of your own vault. You welcome people from the wastelands looking for shelter and use their SPECIAL talents to farm resources to run the vault. Each dweller has a specific focus, and it’s up to you to place them in the proper room to prosper. You have to focus on building four obvious resources (power, food, water, and caps) as well as three not as obvious resources (manpower, weapons, and armor). Power, food, and water each have their own room you can build, and each room’s production speed and amount is determined by the size of the room, level of the room, number of workers in the room, and the total trait points contributed from the dwellers. Caps are farmed from dwellers leveling up, exploring the wastelands, completed challenges, lunch boxes, and the occasional lucky strike from resource rooms. Weapons and armor can be obtained from lunch boxes, but are predominantly farmed from the wastelands. Manpower is found in people asking to be let in the community, or seductive dancing and baby making.
For the most part, the gameplay is solid, though I have encountered the occasional bug. Rushing a room while the camera is completely zoomed out has a tendency crash the game. Moving the camera too much also makes it panic on a rarer occasion. While not a bug, I do wish there was a way to reduce population that was as easy as increasing it. You can only have a max of 200 dwellers, which I am quickly approaching. Maybe I’m just too capable of keeping my team alive and kicking, but letting them die in raids and the wasteland takes an inconvenient amount of time.
For a free game, the in-app purchases are surprisingly lax. You have the option to buy a number of lunch boxes that will give you four cards per box. You always get something you need, and always have a chance to get a rare weapon, outfit, or even character for your vault. You don’t need any of these to do well, and you even have a chance to earn lunch boxes on your own by completing certain challenges. This is one of those rare instances of a freemium not trying to pressure you into spending your food budget to keep up. Strangely enough, this makes me want to throw my money at them in order to encourage them. I love that this game, made by a huge company that has quality, charm, and polish, is not trying to cram their demands for your money down your throat.
All and all, I am really enjoying Fallout Shelter. I can pop in from time to time, check on my little friends, make sure no one’s turned into a ghoul, and then go back to my life. It’s enjoyable to see my antfarm of humans grow and prosper, or crash and burn. It’s really up to you to make that call as the Overseer, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.