|Developer(s)||Bethesda Game Studios|
June 14, 2015
Fallout Shelter is a free-to-play mobile simulation video game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. Part of the Fallout series, it was released for iOS devices on June 14, 2015, right after the conclusion of Bethesda's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 conference. It will be released at a later date for Android devices.
In Fallout Shelter, players get to build and manage their own Vault as an overseer. Players control the people in the Vault and need to keep them happy. They'll rescue dwellers from the wasteland, and assign them to different resource-generating buildings in the vault, using the seven statistics from the SPECIAL set of stats from the other Fallout games: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Each character's SPECIAL will affect how good they are at generating different forms of resources. The statistics of a dweller can be increased by training. The dwellers can level up and can be given new items and weapons, which they'll need when they are sent out into the wasteland to scout or when defending the vault from attacks by raiders or creatures. Selecting a dweller will display their statistics and inventory. The number of dwellers can be increased by waiting for new dwellers from the wasteland to arrive or by pairing a man and woman dweller in living quarters to produce babies, which the player can name.
Balancing resources such as food, water and power is an important aspect of the game. Many different rooms can be built in the vault, providing different items or stat bonuses. Unlike many free-to-play games, players do not have to spend money in order to speed up long timers or processes. Instead, the player can instantly speed up processes at the risk of catastrophic failures, such as fires or radroach infestations. The player can have their dwellers clean up these disasters. Players are sometimes rewarded with lunchboxes that contain rewards, such as items or resources. Lunchboxes can also be purchased separately with real-world money.
Development and release
In a 2009 interview while talking about a possible Fallout game for iOS, Bethesda's Todd Howard said that the world of Fallout was unique enough that it could translate to any platform and revealed that several designs of an iOS Fallout game were pitched and rejected. On November 5, 2009 John Carmack, who at that time worked for id Software, said that while it's nothing official yet, he had an internal proof of concept made for a Fallout iPhone game. Both Carmack and Todd Howard are fans of the platform. Carmack said that he will likely be personally involved in making the game, although at that time he was too overloaded with work on other games. "At the very least I'm going to be providing code," he said.
Fallout Shelter was announced by Bethesda during its E3 2015 press conference on June 14, 2015. It was announced that the game would be a free-to-play title that will be released during the night on the same day as the conference. The game is inspired by other video games like Little Computer People, Progress Quest, XCOM, SimCity, and FTL: Faster Than Light. The game was released for iOS on the same day. Pete Hines, Bethesda's Vice President of PR & Marketing, announced on June 15 that information about an Android version will be revealed at a later date. The next day, Bethesda Game Studios said that they were working on an Android version which would be released in a few months.
On June 30, 2015, a Fallout 4 character was added as a dweller in the game for first time. Preston Garvey, the leader of Commonwealth Minutemen from Fallout 4, is available as a reward from lunchboxes and the other vault dwellers can be equipped with his Laser Musket weapon.
Destructoid gave it a review score of 7/10, calling it a likable game and praising its visual features like the 3D zoom feature, screen responsiveness and ability to speed up processes at the cost of risks instead of spending money on micro-transactions. At the same time they criticized the game for its sometimes broken objectives. The reviewer Chris Carter stated about the game "We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line." Ziff Davis of IGN gave it a review score of 6.8/10 praising it for its accessible gameplay, reasonable in-app purchases and amusing writing while criticising it for its gameplay being too shallow and having no endgame.
Ebenezer Samuel of New York Daily News gave it 3 out 5 stars, praising it for its gameplay, visual features, being designed for both long and short play session, and being friendly to both newcomers and fans of the Fallout series. He also criticized the game for its load screens and tiny visuals on smaller non-iPad devices. Chad Sapieha of Financial Post gave it a review score of 7.5/10 praising it for its gameplay calling it fun, its visuals and being designed perfectly for mobile play. He also criticized it for clunky controls when giving commands to dwellers and draining battery of the device quickly. Pocket Gamer gave it a review score of 7/10 saying "It's not exactly the most exciting post-apocalyptic game out there, but if casual is your bag there's a lot to like here."
Evan Killham of VentureBeat gave it a review score of 95/100, praising it for its challenging and deep gameplay, graphics and being free along with allowing players to speed up processes at the cost of risks instead of spending money. Meanwhile he criticized the game for its frequent notifications. Jason Faulkner of Gamezebo gave it 4 out of 5 stars praising it for its graphics, being faithful to the Fallout series and being truly free-to-play. He criticized it for its visuals being too small on some older devices and for being too slow on some devices.
Reviewers of New York Daily News, Destructoid and Financial Post criticized the game for enticing players to spend money on its micro-transactions in order to purchase additional lunchboxes for the bonus items and in-game money they reward. Although lunchboxes can be acquired without spending money, reviewers noted that this occurred too infrequently. In contrast IGN called the game's in-app purchases as reasonable in its review of the game.
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- Koziara, Andrew (June 18, 2015). "'Fallout Shelter' Guide – Strategies, Tips and Tricks for the Industrious Post-Apocalypse Vault Overseer". Touch Arcade. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
Vice Versa, people in training rooms only increase stats, and don't level up.
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