Rooms mainly act as a way to house survivors, generate resources such as energy, water and food, or to increase storage space. The accumulation rate of said resources, however, is incredibly slow and after the first fifteen to thirty minutes of play you’ll find yourself lacking in energy to keep rooms activated and food to keep your dwellers health up.
Very soon into the game I noticed my dwellers were growing increasingly unhappy and my food and energy levels were dwindling away much faster than I could generate them.
To avoid this you need to make sure you match your dwellers to rooms that their attributes (such as strength, agility, intelligence and a few others) prove an advantage towards. For example, put someone with high agility into the diner room instead of someone with high intelligence. These kinds of matches will also increase resource output speed.
All of this said and done, I feel the tutorial didn’t extensively explain this well enough for me to make sure I stayed on top of matching stats with rooms.
I feel the tutorial didn’t really cover a lot of things in enough detail though. For example, you can ‘rush’ your resource generating rooms in order to gain a quick payout of resources, XP and caps but the more you ‘rush’ rooms, the higher the chance will become that the room will catch on fire, or be swarmed with Radroaches for example. Plus the more ‘rushes’ that fail, the unhappier your dwellers will become. It would have been handy to learn this a bit more during the introduction.
A tip that I’ll give you free is to make sure you mute your device when you ‘rush’ a room because the music that plays is so incredibly annoying. Listen to it at your risk… it will haunt your dreams.
You can deck out your dwellers with outfits that increase their stats and equip them with weapons to help defend from nasties such as Radroaches or Yao Guai.
If you feel daring or think your dweller is pimped out enough to handle anything the wasteland could throw their way then you can drag them outside of your vault and send them exploring.
Don’t get too excited though, because exploration is completely imaginary and you have no control over where they go or what they do. Their progress comes in the form of a dialogue box that updates at regular intervals describing what they’re been doing.
Such random events might include, your dweller encountering some super mutants and attempting to hide from them (successfully hiding will reward XP) or they could stumble across some caps to allow you to expand your vault further.
I completely understand that such a simple concept for a game wouldn’t go into more detail about the explorations but the fact that you even have the option to go on merry adventures in the derelict world that lays beyond the left hand side of your screen is quite a tease. The whole point of the Fallout series is to explore! If you have to rely on random outcomes displayed in the form of plain text accompanied by your dweller’s image and health bar, I feel that the option to explore has fallen incredibly short of Fallout’s standard.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
Unfortunately not really… Once you’ve covered the basics of building new rooms, recruiting more survivors and upgrading them with outfits and weapons, all that’s left is to monotonously grind for resources by waiting for the timer to tick down and then tapping to gather such commodities.
Occasionally you might be confronted by raiders who… well… raid your vault and damage or kill your dwellers, essentially putting your resource gathering to a halt. Your best bet is to make sure the vault door is upgraded to increase it’s health as well as stationing your strongest, most pimped out dwellers at the vault door to hold off any attackers. Once the raiders are through your initial defences it can become quite difficult to make a decent comeback.
Certain tasks will grant you rewards that come in the form of special lunchboxes that can be opened to reveal a few goodies such as caps, resources, outfits or weapons. Some of the outfits are pretty cool and will also add that extra bit of nostalgia.
Thankfully Bethesda haven’t flooded this free to play game with IAPs but the lunch boxes can be bought with real life cash no matter how trivial the rewards may be.
I feel that the excitement from the Fallout 4 release date announcement leaked all over the launch of Fallout Shelter, which has most probably disappointed quite a few fans, myself included.
The only reason I’d suggest that someone download FS and play it is if they were hardcore fans of the graphic style of Vault Boy and wished that there was such a game that centres itself around said style.
If you wish to experience approximately thirty seconds of nostalgia you’d be better off going here than playing Fallout Shelter. I’m sorry to give such a negative review but when my hopes have been raised only to be progressively crushed, I become a rather unhappy gamer indeed.
2 stars – boring, uninspired sim game from a top notch developer.