Playtime with Fallout Shelter for iPad

A room full of pregnant women working all day long.

One of the best things to come out of Bethesda’s E3 conference was the company’s announcement of a brand new game for iPad based off the Fallout franchise – namely titled Fallout Shelter.  The best bit wasn’t so much the game announcement but the fact it was readily available for download at the time of the announcement.

Cut to me hurriedly downloading said game and sadly experiencing a full day of game crashes – to which I said “it wouldn’t be a Fallout game if it didn’t crash”.  Thankfully, after a bit of online searching for start-up tips, shutting down all background apps and restarting the iPad got the game working and now, Fallout Shelter is my new obsession – when my game-play isn’t interrupted with a surprise crash!

For those not in the know, Shelter tasks you with rebuilding an underground shelter and overseeing the re-population of the entire development.  From assigning your band of survivors (very menial) tasks to warding off radroach attacks to playing cupid to ensuring the health and happiness of your clan, there is plenty to do to waste ones day away.

I found starting off easy enough – The ability to rename each dweller saw me rename my new arrivals to that of Liz Lemon, Hannibal Lecter, Sydney Andrews, Dawson Leery – to name a few, and set them about their tasks to ensure the water, power and food meters were full.  Random set tasks appear (includes things like “sell one outfit or weapon”) that can result in either bottlecaps (currency) or exclusive lunchboxes (filled with outfits, weapons, bottlecaps or resources) and before I knew it, my crew were having babies or being sent out into the world to explore and hopefully acquire some new items.

After about 3 hours or so, all was going so well – 22 crew members with three on the way, above 80% happiness, Meredith Grey was providing all with stimpaks, Daryl Dixon was out exploring and resource levels were good – until I hit a small little button that read ‘rush’.

The problem with ‘rushing’ a resource production is that it can be very testy, to which I learnt the hard way.  What’s this? Purified water in 10 seconds?!  Awesome!  Electricity in 10 seconds?!  Awesome!

The awesomes were quickly replaced with wtf?! when a failed rush resulted in radroaches appearing, killing off 7 members of my team (RIP Fox Mulder and Jules Cobb) and radiation levels skyrocketing.  Before I knew it, I’ve gone from simply maintaining my vault to crazy ass damage control – demolish the third level dining room as it’s sucking too much electricity, move Meredith Grey and Christina Yang both into the science lab (I NEED RADAWAY NOW!!!!!), all non essential women are to get pregnant (pregnant women increase happiness levels and suddenly i’m in a revolving door trying to ensure all the women were constantly knocked up)  – happiness levels are down to 9% – YES 9% and everyone looks like they’ve just watched Beaches (don’t judge, it makes me cry)

The beauty of Shelter is it’s unpredictability – no matter how much you try and prepare.  Great for a while, crazy the next, strategic the next after that.  Bethesda have actually created a great app that will tide all of us bastards chomping at the bit for Fallout 4’s release in November.

Currently available in the app store for iPad and iPhone – check requirements – Fallout Shelter is also on it’s way to Android, but not for a few months yet.

Are you playing Shelter?  Sound off in the comments below!


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