Fallout: Shelter, a Loot Box Apocalypse

fallout shelter title logo

This week’s review is going to be on something a little different. A mobile game, Fallout: Shelter, which was then put on Steam so I count that as a video game and shall review it as such.

Falling Out with Fallout

It has now become evident that over the past couple of years, Bethesda has been concocting new streams of revenue for the Fallout series. With the release of Fallout: Shelter and the recent announcement of what can only be described as a hybrid game, Fallout: 76 it seems the company are looking to innovate the series in…some way. But I digress.

Fallout: Shelter is a short lived, fairly addictive bastard of a game. The whole point to it is to collect new vault dwellers and expand the vault. Pretty simple stuff. Players can create an assortment of different room for different purposes. You have water treatment centres to classrooms all the way to a med-bay and crafting stations. All designed to keep your vault surviving and to allow a deeper exploration of the outside world.

I won’t lie, the general maintenance of the vault is pretty dire. Having to click on predictable symbols every minute or so to collect water all seems a bit…much. I get why you have to manually click on them to collect it, there’d be nothing else to do 99% of the time. But this doesn’t make the game any more entertaining than mowing the grass every day. Sure it’ll look nice and clean but fundamentally you’re doing a pointless task for the sake of doing a pointless task.

The only real attractive feature about Fallout: Shelter is the artwork. In adopting the classic Fallout style artwork and animations the game almost brought to life. By embracing this method the game feels a lot less bleak than its AAA counterparts. Everyone has smiles; the dialogue is cheesy humour, so nothing serious at all.



Onto what is possibly the most entertaining part of the game; the quests. If you feel that word is sarcastic you are right. Once you’ve amassed enough followers to maintain your shit then you can send spare ones into the unknown to do things. This will take them anywhere from a few hours to entire days to get to. Are the rewards for being patient that good? Not really, but it is a nice change of pace from the monotonous clicking of icons.

When the oppressed dwellers reach the location they then have to explore said location whilst killing on the way. Characters will have to battle a number of iconic foes from the franchise, clearing out each building room, by room. Once everything is dead or has been spoken to then you get rewarded with some arbitrary item and send them home.


Should it Stay in the Wasteland?

Fallout: Shelter while isn’t inherently bad for what it is. Some people will enjoy the game; it hardly requires gratuitous amounts of your life to play. But, and there’s always a but with a Bethesda title; Shelter feels like a cash grab. And by that I mean they clearly wanted to enter the mobile market in order to sell shiny things, which mean nothing, for money.

Yes that’s right, there are purchasable items, loot boxes as they’re known. Inside these bastardised inventions can be dwellers, weapons and pets all the way down to utilities which you generate anyway.

Why anyone would be invested into this game enough to justify spending money on it, I don’t know. You can unlock all the stuff by just playing the game as it is. But that’s where the gaming scene is these days. Allowing idiots to be idiots and letting any aged person gamble.

The game’s not hard. It gets very repetitive very quick and it has loot boxes in. That’s all a person really needs to know about this game. Sure it’s nice to be able to run your own vault, but this isn’t Sims or Cities: Skylines. It’s the barebones of a simulation. Hey, if that’s your thing and you don’t mind wasting a few minutes here and there then you could have a worse time. Just don’t expect it to be anything besides being nothing. It will not be remembered, it will not allow for friendships or nostalgia, it exists and that’s about all anyone can say for it.

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